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County to review jail expansion study

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NASHVILLE — Nash County is paying for a study to examine at in-place expansion of the county jail.

The study by Charlotte-based Moseley Architects should be complete in two months with any construction undertaken finished in two to three years. The study of needs doesn’t mean the county will go forward with recommendations, County Manager Zee Lamb said at the Nash County Board of Commissioners’ most recent meeting.

Moseley will conduct the data-driven analysis for $19,450 plus travel expenses.

Recent problems at the Nash County Detention Center include gang violence, fires and two escapes.

The Moseley study is in addition to a preliminary study ordered by Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone from the National Institute of Corrections, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons.

That study focuses on jail operations while the Mosley study will focus on facility needs.

“This will be a more comprehensive study,” Lamb said.

Lamb said he, county Board of Commissioners Chairman Robbie Davis and Jonathan Boone, the county’s director of public utilities and facilities, met with Moseley Architects regarding the needs assessment.

“It is the responsibility of county boards of commissioners to provide facilities for courts and other county purposes, including the jail,” Lamb said.

The Moseley study will evaluate current facility needs and options for expansion at the current site. The study will not look at the possibility of a new facility.

Moseley has agreed to evaluate current facility needs; forecast inmate population through 2040; identify long-term space needs and solutions; develop options and diagrammatic plans for expansion; estimate probable costs; work with an advisory group including representatives from the sheriff’s office; present findings to commissioners; and provide a report with next-step recommendations.

“We need to make some kind of addition,” Lamb said.

Cost has been a concern during jail expansion discussions. Stone has previously expressed an interest in bringing federal inmates into the county jail to help with expenses.

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners recently approved a federal inmate housing program that could bring in more than $1 million annually, according to the Bladen Journal.

Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker told the Journal that the program will pay for eight additional detention officers, salary increases, two new inmate transport vehicles and $100,000 for facility maintenance.