A Webster County, Iowa Board of Supervisors study into whether their existing jail is meeting the county’s needs, and what solutions are viable to fix the problem, found a myriad of problems with the existing facility, including the issue of overcrowding, Kelby Wingert reports for The Messenger. While the existing jail, which was built in 1982, can house up to 56 inmates, due to inmate classifications (violent, non-violent, etc.) and potential inmate conflicts, the study found that it isn’t always able to.
18 Webster County inmates are currently being housed elsewhere. The Webster County Sheriff’s Office is charged $60-$100 per day per inmate housed out of the county. In September 2023 alone, Webster County paid $19,000 to other counties to house overflow inmates. There are also currently just over 1,000 people who are waiting to serve time they’ve been sentenced to on a list that is at least five years long, amounting to $740,000 waiting to be collected. A proposed 60,692-square-foot facility that would house both the jail and the Sheriff’s Office, is the solution to the county’s overcrowded jail problem, according to the study.