Local News

State-Of-The-Art Jail To Open In Cumberland County

Posted January 7, 2003

— Officials said it cost millions of dollars to build the new Cumberland County Jail, which has twice as many beds as the old one and state-of-the-art prison cells.

Prisoners will start residing in the new jail in February and officials said the new facility is desperately needed. Officials said there are currently more than 400 inmates in a facility, which is supposed to house 288 inmates.

Officials said the new $36 million facility will have day rooms instead of jail blocks. Officials said the new design will be safe for both inmates and jailers.

"The whole thing is based on behavior modification. It's changing a lifetime pattern of violent behavior. It's teaching people that the way you get ahead is not through violent acts, but by following the rules," said jailer Maj. Dan Ford.

There was some concern that the new jail would not open due to state budget concerns. The new facility is set to operate at $8 million a year. Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said the new jail will open after reshuffling of the budget. However in future years, the county may have to pay for potential increases.

"This facility is here. We've got to open this facility. We have to move on because it is needed very badly," Butler said.

The new jail also offers videoconferencing, which will allow inmates to talk to visitors from their cells.

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