PRINEVILLE, Ore. - The Crook County Sheriff's Office is close to opening its brand-new jail, and that means some wrongdoers won't have to be on a waiting list to serve their time.
For more than 15 years, Crook County has rented beds for some of its inmates at the Jefferson County Jail. Voters approved a bond in 2016 to build a new jail. The current one has been in use for more than 50 years and has only 16 beds. The new jail, set to open in July, increases that number to 76 beds.
Crook County Sheriff John Gautney outlined the need for the new jail, saying, "I have about 60 people right now on a waiting list. These are folks that have been convicted in court, the court has sanctioned them to jail time, and because there's no bed space, then those folks are out on the street, waiting for a jail bed."
Voters approved a $10 million bond toward construction, which covered most of the $17 million project's cost. The sheriff's office broke ground on the new facility about two years ago.
Gautney said the old jail has more basic technology, with limited electronics.
Roger Snow with Kirby Nagelhout Construction said this is his first jail he's helped build. He outlined some of the differences compared to a normal project.
"It's a very complex building, compared to most office buildings," Snow said."The security electronics are over the top. Usually, you have card access for doors, (in the new jail) every door is electronic. The entire building is electronic."
The sheriff's office will continue to have patrol units based out of the old building.
There will be an open house event Saturday at the new Crook County Jail from 4-7 p.m.