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Facts About the Platte County Detention Center Expansion 

VOTE ON AUGUST 6, 2024


Facts About the Platte County Detention Center Expansion 

VOTE ON AUGUST 6, 2024


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The Platte County Detention Center is responsible for the safe and secure management of detainees at various stages of the criminal justice process, including inmate medical care, food services and transportation.

 

Platte County voters will consider two measures on the August 6, 2024, ballot in order to raise funds for construction of an expanded and improved inmate detention center to include more areas to segregate violent and sexual offenders, and to provide expanded mental health care and education of inmates.


FACTS ABOUT THE CURRENT DETENTION CENTER

  • The current detention center was built in 1998, and is 26 years old. 
  • The current detention center is located at 415 South Third Street in Platte City, Missouri.
  • The current detention center houses local detainees at various stages of the criminal justice process.
  • Registered voters in Platte County will have the opportunity to vote on Question 1 and Question 2 on Tuesday, August 6, 2024.
  • The current detention facility has approximately 6-8 medical beds, but at least 25 beds are needed for medical/mental health.


WHY EXPAND THE DETENTION CENTER? 


OVERCROWDING

  • The existing detention center is over capacity based on population growth in Platte County. 
  • In 1990 when the existing facility was being planned, the Platte County population was 57,867. 
  • The population had grown to 106,718 by 2020 according to the final Census data, nearly an 80% increase. 
  • The detention center was designed for approximately 151 beds, but frequently houses up to 200 detainees.
  • Mattresses are frequently placed on the floors in cells in order to house additional detainees.
  • Overcrowding mitigation efforts for nonviolent offenders are in place but overcrowding remains an issue.


DANGEROUS CONDITIONS

  • Overcrowding and the current design make it challenging to separate violent and non-violent inmates.
  • The existing facility poses safety issues for the Sheriff's jailers and County building maintenance staff.
  • Conditions have deteriorated to the degree that inmates have ripped out metal and other materials that have been used to make weapons.

Makeshift Weapons.jpgExamples of actual weapons made at the detention center.


INADEQUATE SPACE

  • There is inadequate space for medical and mental health services.
  • Safe food storage is inadequate.
  • Laundry, holding areas, and attorney-client meeting rooms are inadequate for the current or future capacity. 

 

CONCEPT PLAN FOR ADDITION

  • If approved, the sales tax will fund the construction of a new housing addition to the existing detention facility.
  • Meets future county needs for the long-term.
  • Provides ability to separate violent and non-violent inmates.
  • Expands medical/mental health division by repurposing the booking area into medical support and transport.
  • Relocates and fully contains prisoner intake in a new lower level.
  • Repurposes existing “Futures” space into a trustee facility and converts to support services such as housing, kitchen, and laundry.
  • Creates 320 bed housing addition to the west of existing housing.
  • Results in 471 beds total to meet inmate population needs.
  • Creates 25 cells dedicated for inmates with medical or mental health needs.
  • Expands education and rehab rooms. 
  • Separates dedicated medical/mental health inmates and provides a suicide watch wing. 
  • Includes modern evidence processing area.
  • Uses efficient construction design including prefabricated cells.

 

FINANCIAL PICTURE

  • The project budget is $80-85 million.
  • Platte County’s current outstanding debt is under $10 million.
  • A half cent sales tax equals 50 cents on a $100 purchase.
  • If approved, the sales tax will retire the general obligation debt and will fund estimated operating expenses of the detention center.
  • If approved, 100 percent of the funds will go to the detention center.

 

2023 GRAND JURY REPORT

  • Over time the inmate profile has become more high-risk making it difficult to effectively classify inmates.
  • Safe food storage is inadequate.
  • Medical care provided by the jail is insufficient. More nursing and mental health services are needed.
  • The jail is operating with the minimum required staff.
  • The jail is over capacity.

2023 PLATTE COUNTY COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS

  • County should build a stacked addition to the current jail, adding 312 new beds to the existing 152 for a total of 464 beds. 
  • Addition should include at least 13 pods. 

 

OVERCROWDING MITIGATION EFFORTS

  • Judges use pretrial services in appropriate cases versus incarceration.
  • Platte County Prosecutor’s Office started and operates a diversion program called Platte CARES to reduce court caseload, decrease incarceration and reduce recidivism.
  • Treatment courts address drug, DWI offenders, as well as veterans and those with mental health challenges.
  • To date, 330 people have graduated from the program.

 

COUNTY STAFF WORK CONDITIONS

  • Existing facility poses safety issues for the Sheriff's jailers and County building maintenance staff.
  • Conditions have deteriorated to the degree that inmates have ripped out metal and other materials that have been used to make weapons.
  • There is more agitation among inmates at closer quarters during overcrowding, creating a safety issue for jailers and inmates. 
  • The addition provides a separated maintenance system for HVAC and plumbing staff to access work without entering jail. 

 

VOTING INFORMATION

  • Am I registered to vote? 
  • How can I register to vote?
  • June 25 – absentee voting starts; must have an excuse. 
  • July 10 – voter registration deadline for August 6, 2024 election.
  • July 23 – no-excuse absentee voting begins. 
  • August 6 – in person voting.

  

OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS

 

  1. Currently, how much is maintenance and operations?

The Count spends approximately $4.5 million on detention staff and supplies and is paid for by the ¼ law enforcement sales tax and general revenue.

    1. What will the future cost be, and is that already covered in the current budget?

When the jail opens, the cost to operate the jail will be approximately $7.2 million due to additional staff and the increased operational costs.

  1. If approved, when would construction start?

Construction would begin in 2025.

  1. When would the new detention center wing be complete?

Construction would be completed in 2028

  1. This expansion would add 320 beds for a total of 471 beds after the current jail is also renovated. Current detainee population averages around 200 per day. How is the growth projected?

The County is utilizing a national jail consultant to analyze the County’s growth and trends to develop the projections.

 


Question 1 (requires 4/7 majority of the vote) – Shall Platte County, Missouri issue its general obligation bonds in the amount not to exceed $85,000,000 for the purpose of designing, acquiring, constructing, installing, improving, furnishing, and equipping an expanded and improved inmate detention center in the County, including without limitation more areas to segregate violent and sexual offenders and to provide mental health care and education of inmates?

 

Question 2 (requires a simple majority) – Shall Platte County, Missouri be authorized to impose a countywide sales tax for the purpose of designing, acquiring, constructing, installing, improving, furnishing, equipping, operating, and maintaining an expanded and improved inmate detention center in the County, including without limitation the payment of debt service on general obligations bonds issued for such purpose, at a rate of one-half of one percent for a period of twenty years from the date on which the tax is first imposed? 

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