Local News

Wake County unveils $151M detention center

Posted April 18, 2012
Updated April 19, 2012

— Wake County officials on Wednesday unveiled a new $151 million state-of-the-art detention center that's designed to streamline the inmate booking process and save taxpayers money.

The county had been housing inmates in a facility on Hammond Road and at the Wake County Public Safety Center in downtown Raleigh, meaning many inmates had to be transported downtown for court appearances.

The new 532,147-square-foot Wake County Detention Center, which also is on Hammond Road, consolidates all of the services used for inmates into one multi-use facility, including fingerprinting, forensic laboratories, magistrate offices and medical care.

The most serious of offenders will still be housed at the Wake County Public Safety Center, but nearly 1,200 inmates will be housed at the new facility. There is room to expand over the next 40 years to house 3,500 arrestees.

Video technology will allow inmates to visit with family and friends without ever leaving their housing area. It will also enable inmates to have first court appearances from their housing areas instead of in person.

Wake County Detention Center Wake County unveils $151M detention center

"It allows us to conduct those first appearances without ever having to transport an inmate out of the holding cell downtown to the public safety center," Wake County District Judge Robert Rader said. "It's faster. It's more efficient. It's also safer, and in the long run, it saves a lot of money."

County officials say the new facility will also streamline the booking process and get law enforcement officers back on the street faster.

"The one area of the economy that seems to improve when times are tough is crime," Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Paul Coble said. "So, we now have a new facility for those who want to partake of that side of the economy. We have a great place for them to stay."


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  • ecualumni1982 Apr 20, 2012

    We in NC are a little on the backwards side, we can't get companys to locate here and produce jobs that pay people 30-40K a year, yet we can easily build new prisons and hire guards that equate to 35-40K a year per prisoner! Basically we happily spend 2-3X more tax money enforcing crime and housing criminals than the net worth of their crimes.Then like fools we can't figure out why the state can't balance the budget. Somehow locking up working aged men/women and paying others of the same age group and education level to guard them seems unproductive. Here is a novel idea, we could have spent the 151 Million on building a plant that would pay and employ the men in the detention center and this would'nt cost the tax payers another dime!! No your right, lets lock people up, give them felonys on their record, and just hope they straigthen up.

  • Lady Justice Apr 19, 2012

    "@Lady Justice, marijuana is the definition of a simple drug crime."


    Are you talking a dime bag, pounds, or any amount? Not trying to be snarky, just curious how much a person can possess and it still be considered petty.

  • loprestw Apr 19, 2012

    We should be like Arizona, GP larges (Large tents) on cots and eat bologna sandwiches. No TV and work throughout the day. But then again they would have to live like our soldiers do when deployed.

  • loving life 84 Apr 19, 2012

    how does this save taxpayers money.. when it cost us to for them to be housed in the first place

  • boneymaroney13 Apr 19, 2012

    I think a work camp would be more economical.

  • howdiditgettothis Apr 18, 2012

    Wow. I'll sleep better tonight knowing the local criminals have a fine, brand new, state of the art place to serve their jail sentences.

  • smalldogsrule Apr 18, 2012

    It is going to be a much larger version of what we ae using in Harnett County.

  • SmokeWagon Apr 18, 2012

    ..."and save taxpayers money...."

    LOL....ya ever seen ANY government expenditure yet that wasn't touted as "saving the tax payer money" or "for the children"...????? Just ONE MORE GSA project....!!!!!

  • pinkiglock Apr 18, 2012

    I hope there is an electric chair there.

  • ncgayatheist Apr 18, 2012

    Now tourists from Durham will have a place to stay!