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County conducts annual jail facility tour

March 12, 2014 by

Lake County’s Board of Commissioners participated in a tour of the Lake County Jail facility during their Tuesday, March 4, work session.

The tour served as a yearly legal requirement for the board, and was led by the county’s security manager, Lt. Paul Havel.

A highlight of the tour included a look at the recently-upgraded heater, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC), which Havel noted has vastly improved air circulation within the facility.

Professional Heating & Cooling, Inc., of Redmond installed the system, which replaced aging infrastructure that dated back to the 1950s era of the jail’s construction.

Previously, the system featured a furnace with air conditioning unit, and has since been replaced more contemporary and efficient technology.

Recent additions in the past year included a new fingerprint recording machinery that affords direct submittal to the state.  Havel noted that the machine arrived at no cost to the county through a state grant, though the county will have to budget for software updates.

This machine also includes an integrated photo component, for which Lake County is serving as a pilot county, Havel noted.  Eventually, the jails statewide are expected to integrate this feature, he said.

Havel noted that meals for the jail facility are contracted through Warner Creek Correctional Facility, due to the greater cost effectiveness over preparing meals on site.

A Department of Corrections dietician monitors inmate caloric intake, he said.

In addition to the meals, there is also an in-house commissary featuring a variety of snack items available for purchase by inmates, Havel said.  Along with serving as supplementary options for meals, the commissary is also used as a behavioral modification tool.

The jail additionally contracts with Klamath County for additional beds, Havel said.  This may also include cases in which separation of family members is a factor, he noted.

Commissioner Brad Winters said despite an aging facility, the recent improvements have helped keep the facility viable.

“It’s still a 1954 jail,” he said, “but we’re very proud of where we’re at with jail standards today.  We’re really proud of where we’ve gotten.”

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