The Marshall County Jail is getting some much needed upgrades thanks to money from the Marshall County Commission.

Everything from cells, toilets, showers, intercom systems, piping and even floors are getting a complete upgrade to make the jail safer for not only the staff but for the inmates as well.

Matt Cooper, Chief of Corrections at the Marshall County Corrections Office, said renovations started about 6 months ago and are currently heavily underway.

Plans for new offices and even an inmate/lawyer room will be built in the area of the former main lobby.

As far as the jail, each block holds 10 cells between the two sides, totaling 32 inmates. No new space will been added, only upgrades.

"What we are doing is bringing the building up to code, it's not fixing the overcrowding problem," Cooper said.

"We tore out the old stainless steel showers they were able to hide stuff behind. Also the toilets, the men liked to overflow, they are now touch controls that are connected to our touch screen in our control room. We can now set these to where they flush only every 10 minutes, every 20 minutes or every 30 minutes," he continued. "The wiring for the doors is also over the top of the door, nothing hanging down. The locks will also kick anything out if someone tries to pick it with something that isn't the key. They can't tamper with them or try to short them out."

They are also adding an officer break area and a place for a doctor and nurse's office.

The 24/7 officer command center is also getting a complete upgrade.

"These windows are designed so we can see out but they can't see us," he said. "We also have touch screen computers. And these computers control everything and we can see everything from them too. We can even monitor the parking lot. The new camera systems are IP and we can even pull them up from home. If there was ever an issue and we needed to head up here, we could check the camera and check it out before hand."

The jail is also getting maximum security doors, new piping from top to bottom, working intercoms systems in every cell and two basketball goals for the rec area.

"I'm really excited," Cooper said of the upgrades. "I can't wait for it to be done. When we get through, it's going to look like a brand new building. Other than we are still going to have an overcrowding problem, everything is going to be so much better for our officers. So much safer for our officers. A lot of things were just unsafe for us, unsafe for our inmates. With bringing things up to code, everything is going to be better. Our officers are going be safer because things are going to work. Things are going to be better for everyone, from our officers to our nurses to our inmates."

The Marshall County Jail is designed to hold 198 inmates.

Complete upgrades are slated to be complete be February 2023.

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