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Sheriff John Mehr gives update on Madison County Jail


For the last several years the Madison County jail has been overcrowded and not up to standards, but the new one is set to open this year. Madison County Sheriff John Mehr hopes they can move in at the end of March.

“we’ll have to start getting people in to see how the operation goes, make sure we’ve got the staffing to be able to do it,” said Mehr.

Once they get all of that figured out, they will be able to move inmates into the new jail, which will hold about 550 inmates according to sheriff Mehr. Then they plan to renovate the old jail, “Eventually we are going to have to do some work in the old jail to get some of those hold cells up to standards,” Mehr said.

The sheriff's department has been able to hire a few guards for the jail but Mehr said they are looking to hire more, “we’ve actually been able to hire 2 or 3 officers… we’re trying to get more so I think over time we’re going to start to see that number [rise] we’ve got a few more who have expressed interest.”

The sheriff says that this is a great opportunity for someone that wants a career, "If somebody wants a golden opportunity to get involved in a state-of-the-art facility and would like to have a job that has benefits and be able to grow, please apply.”

Building the jail and hiring new staff are not the only things the sheriff’s department is doing to prepare, the National Institute of Corrections came to Madison County to teach an intense weeklong class involving the new jail.

“It’s a different type of supervision of inmates it’s direct supervision…so we’ve got to learn exactly the best way to do that and procedures," said Mehr about the training.

Sheriff Mehr said the trainers will be back to teach more classes and will advise the department for the next 2 years.

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