A nearby county jail is getting a facelift, one that costs a pretty penny. A $2 million extension is being added to the Wakulla County Jail this summer.
It looks much bigger than its original, and once complete it will generate more jobs in Wakulla County, but the biggest news centers around the revenue it will reel in, money that benefits the county and its taxpayers.
Jared Miller has a tough job in the Wakulla County Jail. The 10-year-old captain oversees a very cramped, very populated corrections facility. For CPT Miller, the idea of a bigger better jail isn't a wish, it's a necessity.
CPT Jared Miller says, “Right now we're at capacity with 240 inmates.”
MAJ Maurice Langston with the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office adds, “You might even say we're about that much over capacity.”
But relief is in sight; in fact, it's about 75 percent complete.
CPT Miller adds, “This will be relief with 200 beds. We'll actually have 12 new officers.”
The $2 million project is right on schedule. Officers say they hope it eases burden at the jail, but also say it will lift another burden felt by Wakulla County taxpayers. It's called jail bed revenue; the Sheriff's Office rents bed space to outside agencies, which pay a fee for their inmates stay.
MAJ Langston says, “We're talking about a business approach to government, taking these dollars to keep taxpayers from paying for their jail.”
With taxpayers seeing their bills drop and with the new expansion generating 12 more jobs, Wakulla County is graciously awaiting the grand opening of its largest jail. The 12 new jobs include 10 correctional officers and two nurses. Langston says they hope to fill the job vacancies next month and have the employees working full-time by September.
The program has brought in almost $1.2 million, all of which goes back into the general revenue.