Scott County Jail Project: Questions and Answers
Alternatives | Cost | Crime and the Jail | Location | Options
Physical Plant | Size and General Description | Proposed Facility Solution

Options

Question 1.

Which option was selected and recommended by CJAAC?

Option 3C1 was recommended by CJAAC and endorsed by the Scott County Board of Supervisors. That option includes the renovation and expansion of the existing jail facilities in their current locations.

This option also addresses all of the concerns of the existing facilities and meets the needs identified in the Facility Needs document.

Question 2.

What were the options that CJAAC looked at?

CJAAC studied ten different possible solution types that ranged from doing nothing (status quo) to a completely new building (similar to the 1998 proposal). In between those two extremes were a number of different renovation/expansion/construction options.

All the options are shown in great detail in the Facility Solutions Document and the Facility Options Analysis document, both available on this website in the Documents section.

Question 3.

What will happen if we don't do anything?

As much as we might wish this problem would just go away, there is no indication that it will simply fade away if we do nothing about it. At this point, Scott County has the ability to control its own destiny. Each day we fail to act to resolve these issues increases the odds that something will occur which takes matters out of our hands.

Financial Considerations (Construction): If construction is part of the solution, then each year we defer reduces our purchasing power. Construction cost escalation used to be estimated at about 4% per year. Last year, cost escalation in some localities was as high as 10%. Anything we can buy in today's dollars will cost less than tomorrow's.

Economic Considerations (Boarding and Transport): Even with the new alternatives in place, we continue to need more jail space than we can provide in our facilities. That results in a need to board inmates in other locations. If we decide that this is the best course of action, we are putting Scott County at the mercy of the detention bed market. In this approach, we are, in fact, building a jail - its just not in Scott County.

  • We may not find bed space available to us at a price we are willing to pay. The County has been advised that the cost to board prisoners at the Rock Island County Jail will increase from $45 per day to $70 per day.
  • We may need to transport inmates longer distance than to Rock Island County. Since our population is now largely pretrial - and pretrial detainees who remain in custody have between 4 and 5 court appearances - this would dramatically increase transport costs.
  • We could have to compete with other jurisdictions - potentially some with deeper pockets than Scott County - for jail space.
  • Long-term reliance on this strategy could put us in a situation where we need beds, but can not find them. Since we are restricted to a certain number of inmates in the Main Jail and the Annex, that could put us in the position of having to release higher risk inmates.
  • Every dollar that we spend in Scott County turns over in our economy between 3 and 4 times. Every dollar that we spend out of Scott County benefits the economy of another county.

Economic Considerations (Staffing Efficiency): Because we have to provide a higher level of service today than we did when the jail was constructed, we also have more staff. The facility was never designed for the number of staff we currently require.

Legal Considerations: As long as it remains in its current facilities, as they exist today, Scott County assumes a higher level of risk for its jail operations.

  • While the Federal Courts have been markedly less likely to become involved in inmate right's litigation in the last 10 years, there are a number of issues on which they continue to be willing to rule in terms of their impact on the totality of conditions. One of the triggers for this type of litigation is crowding. Another is physical plant conditions.
  • As long as inmate supervision is intermittent, the potential for serious injury to both inmates and staff is increased.