Author Topic: New jail replacing the one in downtown Jacksonville could cost around $1 billion  (Read 3603 times)

thelakelander

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The cost of building a new county jail could be in the range of $1 billion based on "back of envelope" number-crunching, according to the City Council member leading a special committee that is examining what the new jail should entail.

The ongoing study remains in the conceptual phase and has not yet done any in-depth cost analysis for a new jail, but council members expect it will cost substantially more than the estimates the city has been using in recent years.

The high cost of building a new jail would come on top of the expense for renovating the city-owned football stadium for a lease extension with the Jaguars. In the case of the stadium, the Jaguars presented a proposed design estimated at up to $1.4 billion. If the city and Jaguars owner Shad Khan reach a deal, they would split the cost.

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in recent years, the city's capital improvement program has used an estimated cost of $244 million for building a 3,000-bed jail off Lannie Road on the Northside, a $41 million pricetag for a second 500-bed jail for short-term holding of inmates somewhere in downtown, and a new Police Memorial Building for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office headquarters at an estimated cost of $96 million.

That $381 million for those three buildings has been in place for several years. The cost of construction has gone up since then because of inflation. In addition, the jail study is examining how to build a campus-style facility on a campus with space for future expansion and services compared to the cramped high-rise facility in downtown.

Full article: https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2024/02/27/jacksonville-faces-big-cost-for-new-county-jail/72729096007/
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Charles Hunter

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Why does there need to be a "500-bed jail for short-term holding of inmates somewhere in downtown"?

I understand why a holding facility near the courthouse is necessary - but why must it be a 500-bed facility?

thelakelander

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When does this end up with the solution being build a new large campus-style jail outside of downtown and keep/renovate the existing jail /JSO property to serve as the downtown holding facility? I would not be surprised if things start heading that way.
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Charles Hunter

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But ... renovating the existing JSO/Jail site for a smaller pre-trial holding facility would run counter to the desires of the people who want that land for development. Also, given the reported problems with the present jail, how much would it cost to bring the tower up to modern, humane standards?

According to an article in The Tributary, one strategy to reduce capacity pressure on the jail would be for the sheriff to adopt adult civil citation and pre-trial diversion programs - which he refuses to do.

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ICARE has spent the last year pushing Waters to introduce an adult civil citation program, which could reduce the number of people jailed.

Under such a program, adults who would otherwise be arrested on low-level, non-violent crimes would be sent to a pre-arrest diversion program. From January 2022 through June 2023, more than 6,500 people were arrested with primary charges related to not having valid driver’s licenses, according to a review of Duval County Clerk of Court data.

In 2018, the Florida Legislature adopted a new law to specifically encourage communities to adopt civil citations and stop giving arrest records to so many people. More than a dozen Florida counties — including many of the state’s most conservative counties — have started this type of program.

In 2017, Miami-Dade County issued about 8,900 civil citations preventing incarceration for crimes such as possession of drug paraphernalia and the consumption of alcohol in public, which kept people out of jail and allowed them to go through programs designed to keep people from committing the same offenses while saving taxpayer money.

State Attorney Melissa Nelson has said she supports adult civil citations, but she also said it’s up to the sheriff to decide if he wants to implement such a program. And Sheriff Waters has vehemently opposed implementing the program. During an ICARE meeting in April last year, Waters said he doesn’t “believe in decriminalization,” saying that we should hold adults to higher standards.


https://jaxtrib.org/2024/02/27/for-decades-jacksonville-ignored-its-decaying-jail-can-the-city-learn-from-past-mistakes/

thelakelander

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When new gets us upwards to $1 billion, concerns about costs start to fly out of the window. I get the impression the sheriff is less concerned about what people want for development and more so about what they can get for JSO. They may have different viewpoints and agendas regarding the jail (existing and future) sites.  Even now, they aren't talking about giving up the JSO administrative office portion of the site if they relocate. They are talking about retrofitting it into something else JSO related.
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heights unknown

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Wow. That's all I've got to say.
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jaxlongtimer

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When new gets us upwards to $1 billion, concerns about costs start to fly out of the window. I get the impression the sheriff is less concerned about what people want for development and more so about what they can get for JSO. They may have different viewpoints and agendas regarding the jail (existing and future) sites.  Even now, they aren't talking about giving up the JSO administrative office portion of the site if they relocate. They are talking about retrofitting it into something else JSO related.

I have to wonder if some empire building is behind some of these requests.  Like JTA with AV's, the bigger the projects are, the more money flows through the agency's hands and the more the "CEO" can demand in salary for managing a bigger budget.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2024, 11:33:53 PM by jaxlongtimer »

fsu813

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But ... renovating the existing JSO/Jail site for a smaller pre-trial holding facility would run counter to the desires of the people who want that land for development. Also, given the reported problems with the present jail, how much would it cost to bring the tower up to modern, humane standards?

According to an article in The Tributary, one strategy to reduce capacity pressure on the jail would be for the sheriff to adopt adult civil citation and pre-trial diversion programs - which he refuses to do.

Quote
ICARE has spent the last year pushing Waters to introduce an adult civil citation program, which could reduce the number of people jailed.

Under such a program, adults who would otherwise be arrested on low-level, non-violent crimes would be sent to a pre-arrest diversion program. From January 2022 through June 2023, more than 6,500 people were arrested with primary charges related to not having valid driver’s licenses, according to a review of Duval County Clerk of Court data.

In 2018, the Florida Legislature adopted a new law to specifically encourage communities to adopt civil citations and stop giving arrest records to so many people. More than a dozen Florida counties — including many of the state’s most conservative counties — have started this type of program.

In 2017, Miami-Dade County issued about 8,900 civil citations preventing incarceration for crimes such as possession of drug paraphernalia and the consumption of alcohol in public, which kept people out of jail and allowed them to go through programs designed to keep people from committing the same offenses while saving taxpayer money.

State Attorney Melissa Nelson has said she supports adult civil citations, but she also said it’s up to the sheriff to decide if he wants to implement such a program. And Sheriff Waters has vehemently opposed implementing the program. During an ICARE meeting in April last year, Waters said he doesn’t “believe in decriminalization,” saying that we should hold adults to higher standards.


https://jaxtrib.org/2024/02/27/for-decades-jacksonville-ignored-its-decaying-jail-can-the-city-learn-from-past-mistakes/

The public defender is quoted in the story saying he doesn't feel a civil citation program would make an impact on jail occupancy, unless it prevents misdemeanors and felonies from avoiding jail time.

Jax_Developer

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Will we ever see the 'study' or is that closed book?

thelakelander

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If you make a public records request, they'll likely give you access.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali