Greene County Jail, in Springfield, Missouri, has created a new temporary jail facility within truck trailers.
On Wednesday afternoon Greene County Sheriff, Jim Arnott, opened the door to this innovative solution to overcrowding.
The jail has overhauled 4 semi trailers into living quarters for inmates. The trailers have open-air space down the center aisle, along with beds and showers.
“If you think about it, in theory, semi-truck trailers and putting people in a parking lot, it might not work.” This could pose an extreme security issue for the facility.
These dorm style trailers will be a new home for 108 inmates. The bunks are stacked 3 tall. The Sherrif explains, “This is the housing unit of this pod. They are triple bunk as you can see. We are trying to make it as harm free as possible.”
Ozarks First reported, the inmates will be able to spend some time outside in a meshed topped area in the middle of the jail, and when they want to make a phone call, they have the options to use a traditional phone or use a video phone by using a tablet device on the wall.
“We have inmates and our staff in here together, we’ll have two correctional officers in here at all times. Less fights and tend to learn more in this type of environment.”
Since the living and moving area of these trailers is much smaller than normal pod setup, Arnott predicts that this style of housing will reduce fighting and in-house crime.
Arnett said, “Hopefully our tax will pass on November 7th. If the tax passes will look forward to building our 12 or 14 hundred bed jail and utilizing this as long as we need it.”
As the facility struggles to place inmates appropriately these converted trailers seemed like the best temporary fix.
Green County officials say that it is far cheaper to house the inmates this way rather than in a regular jail. To hold an inmate in the trailers it costs about $22/day, whereas inside the facility it would cost about $40-$50/day.