Razor wire OK’d for jail

By Eric Norwood Jr.

PNT staff writer

enorwood@pntonline.com

Roosevelt County commissioners approved a plan Tuesday to add additional security at the Roosevelt County Detention Center that has been the scene of a pair of inmate escapes this summer.

Razor wire will be installed along the lining of its roof to prevent a repeat of escapes in June and September in which inmates broke through the ceiling of their cells to gain access to the facility’s roof.

The $57,000 project will be paid for by jail funds accumulated from the housing of inmates from other counties.

“We receive $65 per inmate, per day, to house inmates from other counties,” Detention Center Administrator David Casanova explained.

In early September, Casanova asked the county for $265,000 to install a fence around the perimeter of the jail. He was told that the funds were not in the budget.

“It isn’t in our budget right now. We’d have to pull it out of our reserves (fund),” Roosevelt County Manager Charlene Webb said.

For the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the RCDC earned $770,000 for housing prisoners from other facilities, while its total operating budget was almost $1.4 million.

Other potential additions that were discussed included purchasing additional video cameras and constructing a gate. The commission stated that additional measures could be added in the future in phases.

In both jail breakouts from June and September, the inmates escaped through the roof, which is the main reason why razor wire will be added to line the roof. At the commission meeting on Nov. 6, the commissioners also approved the order of new jail bunks, which will be bolted into the floor as opposed to the old beds, which were welded into the wall.

The bolted bed legs will prevent the inmates from breaking them off and using them as tools to escape, which happened in the first two breakouts.

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