Woodbury County Jail Gets Upgrades

(SIOUX CITY, IA) The Woodbury County Jail is finally getting some long-awaited improvements.

The Sheriff's office has been pushing the county board of Supervisors for approval of a two-phase overhaul of the County Jail. The first phase has already been approved and is almost finished.
We got a preview of what it looks like inside.

The Woodbury County jail is upgrading. It was originally built in 1987 and was a little behind its time. Basically it needed a face lift and some technology upgrades.

"There wasn't enough area for booking. As you see, we've probably doubled the size of that area and some of the cameras that were added, the screens will tell us if a door's not shut. It's all that new technology that helps us," said Sheriff Dave Drew.

A newly furnished command center allows jailers to have more control. They've also begun installing more cameras to keep a watchful eye on inmates.

But not only is the facility getting new cameras, so are the officers.

"We have one that we're using right now and our correctional officers will be wearing them anytime there's an incident that occurs," he said.

And all that information gets stored digitally to be used in case there are any legal issues.
Taxpayers are on the hook for $29,000 a year to store all that video. But in the long run the sheriff says it will be a huge money saver.

"I think they will find that to be much cheaper than spending 4 or 500 thousand dollars in litigations," said Drew.

And it's only phase one of the upgrades. Phase two is making sure everything is up to standard with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"We have to make sure by state standards that we're up to code because many things have changed since the time this facility was built in 1987," he said.

The cameras should be completely installed within the coming months. Phase two still needs to be approved by the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Dave Drew says he's confident it will go through.