With prisoners set to move into the new Grundy County Jail in a few weeks, criminal justice students from Grundy County High School received a sneak peek of the structure last week. The students walked through the jail on tours led by Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum and Jail Administrator David Lance and learned how new technology at the facility will improve safety for prisoners and staff.
The new jail, located behind the Grundy County Courthouse in Altamont, is the result of five years of planning and building, coming in at $6.6 million dollars and just 18 weeks behind schedule; the short delay in opening the 114-bed jail blamed on bad weather and a difficult building site.
GCHS students were welcomed to the jail by Shrum, Lance and deputies in the visitor’s area. Here, explained Lance, visitors will utilize video visitation to talk to prisoners.
“Video visitation will help us cut down on contraband being introduced into the jail,” Lance explained.
There is a video monitor for prisoners to use in each pod, and visitation schedules will be determined when the jail opens.
A state of the art control center is located just outside the visitor area, next to the secured entrance to the main jail areas. Once through the secured door, students were allowed to view the pods that will contain prisoners, the kitchen, the washroom, and the control tower.
The facility has three pods, two for men and one for women, with beds for 68 men and 20 women. Holding cells, detox cells, and medical cells bring the total number of beds at the jail to 114.
The students were interested to learn that the jail’s kitchen will serve no fried food. “We will not use grease in the kitchen,” said Shrum who plans to serve healthy meals while teaching prisoners the value of a healthier lifestyle.
Students concluded their tour in the control tower. The tower gives jail staff a view of all pods through large windows. Staff will control the pods and monitor prisoners from this location.
A specific move-in date for prisoners will not be announced for security reasons.