Jail expansion complete, officials delighted

By Thomas Garcia, PNT Staff Reporter

County officials are pleased with the expansion and renovation of the Roosevelt County Detention Center.

The $3.3 million expansion which was approved by the Roosevelt County commissioners in February 2006. Wilson and Wilson Construction of Clovis was contracted for the addition at RCDC.

The construction of the new addition of the RCDC was completed in August 2007 and the renovation were completed in January of 2008. The expansion of the jail allows for better classification of inmates, said Roosevelt County Detention Center Administrator Jesse Luera .

“The maximum and medium security offenders are kept in the old part of the jail,” Luera said. “The minimum security and female inmates are housed in the new addition.”

The living area and parts of the control center were also renovated. The new control center operates four day-room living quarters, three are for male offenders and one is for female offenders. There are four holding cells in the female day-room in case we need to isolate or remove a female from population, said Roosevelt County Detention Center Administrator Jesse Luera

The expansion added 68 beds and with the remodeling of the old facility there are total of 140 beds available at RCDC. The facility was originally built to house 48 inmates but had been later certified for 72 beds. Luera said.

“There are a few things that still need work but we are very happy with the new setup,” Luera said. “The facility will take care of the county for 10 years before further expansion is needed.”

The commissioners toured the expansion while it was still under construction in December of 2006. During their tour they were told by Luera, that the inmate numbers at RCDC had gone as high as 113 during the summer and the average count was 75 to 95 inmates.

“The new additions and improvements at the detention center will be an asset to the community,” said Roosevelt County Commission Chairman David Sanders. “At the time that we approved the expansion we were at the edge of having a problem. The recreation room had been taken out to make room for more inmates and now the recreation room has been restored for the inmates to use.”

With the additional space the once overpopulated jail can be used to house inmates from other counties through a Joint Powers Agreement. The detention center would receive money from the other agencies for the housing of their inmates.
Expanding and improvement of the RCDC was the best option for the taxpayers of Roosevelt County,” said Charlene Hardin, Roosevelt County manager. “The money generated from the housing of inmates from other counties will be put into the general funds for the Roosevelt County Operating Budget.”