Douglas County Commission to have work session on jail expansion design options

The Douglas County Commission will start a series of work sessions Wednesday on topics related to the expansion of the Douglas County Jail and to the building and staffing of a mental health crisis intervention center.

Wednesday’s work session, which will start at 2:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St., will focus on jail expansion designs, their costs and the impact on the jail’s population of alternatives to incarceration programs that the county has started.

Treanor Architects has been working to update the conceptual jail designs it presented last year to commissioners. The design updates are based on new inmate population projections that Sheriff Ken McGovern and consultant Allen Beck have developed.

McGovern told commissioners in May that more male minimum- and medium-security beds would be needed than previously estimated. Beck presented findings in June that supported that conclusion, but also found that the jail’s female inmate population would not grow as quickly as projected when Treanor presented its conceptual designs.

Treanor representatives will provide different design options for commissioners with cost estimates, and, for the first time, commissioners will hear about operational cost estimates related to the expansion, said Douglas County Administrator Craig Weinaug.

(Read more: LJWorld.com / Lawrence, Kansas)