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Jail, justice system assessment released

POLSON — The National Institute of Corrections recently issued a jail and justice system assessment for Lake County. 

According to the assessment, the jail has numerous significant building-related issues that impact staffing and operations, safety and security, manageability, welfare of staff and inmates and the potential for inmates to rehabilitate. 

The recommendations from the study, which was conducted by Mark Martin and Mark Goldman based on an on-site visit from Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2017, include: 

– continue discussions to determine the need for new jail construction

– conduct a formal needs assessment to determine what is needed to address jail and justice system issues and then determine what solutions are feasible in the short and long term

– continue development of community sanctioning and supervision options through probation and pre-trial programming

– apply to host a National Institute of Corrections week-long Planning of New Institutions training program, which offers an in-depth look at the planning and preparation needed to ensure a successful correctional construction project

– visit other new facilities of similar size and scope to get a sense of what is required in contemporary detention facilities and operations


The Lake County Jail is housed in the courthouse, which was built in 1923. A renovation was completed in the late 1970s. An indoor recreation/multipurpose room and two single-occupancy cells were added in 1997 after the ACLU got involved following an inmate’s death. 

The jail’s capacity is 46 including four single-occupancy cells. 

To view the complete report, go online at and click on “media” and then “jail and justice system assessment” or go here:


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