About half of the jail cell pods arrived at the site for the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center Tuesday morning, with the remainder scheduled to come in next week.
The pods, which each include eight cells, with two beds in each, arrived already fabricated and ready to put in place. Their complete installation including welding is expected to be accomplished by the end of next week.
The pods will provide beds for 76 inmates, but the original site plans included a place for one more pod that would provide 16 more beds. During the Bourbon County Commission meeting Tuesday morning, Sheriff Bill Martin encouraged the commission to consider going ahead and getting that pod while the building is still being constructed.
Martin gave a report on the responses he got from surrounding counties he had contacted about housing their inmates. Many showed interest, including Wichita’s Kansas Department of Corrections, while other counties said they were too far away to transport inmates to Bourbon County.
Martin said he also spoke with counties that recently constructed or added on to their own jails, and those corrections departments shared advice that Bourbon County not be conservative in their number of beds, since even their newer and larger facilities are filling up.
Housing out-of-county inmates could bring in an additional $35 per inmate per day, and the excess number of beds would also insure that Bourbon County would not have to pay other counties to house local inmates.
Martin said now may be a good time to go ahead and get that pod, since the space is available and it would be easy to put in while the building is still open and other pods are being placed. Once the building is complete, it would be more expensive and difficult to open the building back up in order to install it.
The commissioners said that decision would be made based on the available funding.