Monday, November 15, 2021

Checking out the Local Jail

In August 2021 I had the opportunity to visit the new White Pine County Detention Facility, located next to the new Courthouse (which opened in November 2021). I hadn't been to jail before, so decided to go take a look.

The Sheriff's Department held an open house and  invited the public to attend. Visitors entered through one of the vehicle doors into a large bay.

One of the doors is large enough for a jail bus. On the left is Sally port A into the jail. On the right is the courthouse, with secured transport to the courtrooms.

Soon after entering Sally Port A is the intake area.

I was on a tour with some law enforcement officers, and they knew a lot of the right questions to ask. Different people were stationed at different parts of the jail as small groups made their way through the facility.

Here's one of the holding cells. 

For prisoners who might hurt themselves, the holding cell looks like this:

A central desk area is in one area. There's also a control room, but we weren't allowed to take photos of that, which contains lots of screens showing video feeds from various parts of the building and can see into each of the jail areas. 

The jail areas are separated into three main areas: male long-term prisoners (greater than 6 months), male short-term prisoners, and female prisoners. Here's a view of the male long-term prisoner area. Most of the rooms upstairs and down have a single bunkbed in it, although there are a couple in the corner with two bunkbeds each.

For the short-term prisoners, they don't get shared bedrooms, there's just a section of bunk beds upstairs and another one downstairs. 

A lot of natural light comes into each area.

Here's a closer look in one of the cells. The sink and toilet are combined.

The bunk beds are built in and plain. How many outlets do you see in a cell? The answer: none. There's no charging phones or anything else.

Prisoners needing oxygen or other medical equipment would be in one of the rooms in the corner which do have electrical outlets.

And a handicapped version of the prison toilet & sink.

Showers are out in the main room with a minimum of privacy.

Looking from a cell out into the common area.

Here's the line of cells along the top. 

Each door has a food slot in case there's lockdown.

When things are going normally, prisoners can go into the common area, which consists of the showers, tables, and a couple phones. A TV will be installed. That's it. No couches. No computers. No cell phones. 

Another view of the showers. 

The outside space has a nice view of the sky. Not much else. 

We got to peek into the one-room infirmary, the very basic food room (carts and sinks), and some of the hallways.

I think it would be great for all high school and middle school students to tour the jail. It certainly made an impression on me, and I'm sure it would on them, too. This would not be a fun place to spend time in as a prisoner. 

The new facility is already being used, so tours aren't available anymore. The guards were very excited to have so many upgrades and more capacity. 
The official website of White Pine County Sheriff's office, although you can find a lot more information on their Facebook page

I really appreciate the opportunity to see something I wouldn't normally be able to see.


Carolyn said...

This time of year I always start thinking, "Will she show her family at the end of the big meal, slouched back in their chairs, too full to move, and title it "Dessert Survivors" ?

Maybe you-all eat healthy at all times, and not to excess.
It's just how my mind works.

Desert Survivor said...

Ha, Carolyn, thanks for the idea!

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