Deschutes County Commissioners have approved a plan to renovate a dormitory inside of the county jail. The new area would include a special medical and behavioral health unit. The 675 thousand dollar remodel would also add an outdoor recreation area. On Monday during the board's meeting, all commissioners voted in favor of making the change.
Sheriff Larry Blanton was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's morning news and talked iextensively about some of the challenges at the jail.
He says the rec area is an important feature for some of the most dangerous inmates.
"WHAT THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND OR to NOT FORGET- WE DON'T HAVE YOUR LOW-LEVEL TRESPASS- SHOPLIFTER- DUI - LOW LEVEL ASSAULT IN THE FACILITY. WE HAVE THOSE ACCUSED OF MURDER - SERIOUS ASSAULT- SEX OFFENDERS- OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN'T EVEN TALK ABOUT ON THE AIR..."
The plan eliminates about 14 to 16 bed, but allows for a special area away from other inmates so the jail administrator can better care for inmates with special medical or mental health needs.