State Jail Tour

More than a dozen members of the Iowa State Sheriffs’ and Deputies’ Association jail committee toured the Jackson County Jail for about 90 minutes Wednesday.

State jail inspector Delbert Longley was “here as support” for the members of the statewide law enforcement association’s jail committee. Before the tour, Longley said he doesn’t have meetings planned with the Jackson County supervisors or plans in Jackson County at this time.

“I have no idea what that timeline looks like,” he said.

Longley declined to elaborate on the variables that could contribute to any future actions regarding the jail.

“We’ll see what their findings are going forward,” he said of Wednesday’s tour.

“We certainly saw some concerns,” Tiffany Mass, ISSDA jail committee co-chair and jail administrator of Pottawattamie County, said after the tour. There are concerns with “jail standards and federal standards” and issues that could cause “safety and liability concerns for the county,” she added.

On the Iowa Department of Correction’s website, an ISSDA report is included in information about the state’s decision to close the Warren County jail. That closure decision came about 18 months after the association’s visit, and only after the Warren County Board of Supervisors failed to set a date for a bond referendum vote.

In August, Jackson County voters declined to fund a bond referendum for a new jail. A majority of voters cast ballots in approval of funding a new jail, at a cost of about $6.95 million, but the measure failed to receive the 60 percent required to pass.

Jackson County supervisors have not set a date for a second bond referendum vote, but they have extended their option to buy land that could house a new jail, near Wal-Mart.

Association members came from all over the state for the Oct. 3 tour, with some coming from as far as Pocahontas County, about four hours away.