Overcrowding in Polk County's Jail is one step closer to being resolved. Right now, the jail can only hold 37 inmates. So, many have to be housed outside of the county and that’s putting a strain on taxpayers dollars.
Now, the County Commission and Sheriff's Department are taking the idea of a new Jail and Justice Center to the voters.
As inmates shuffle back and forth from the courthouse to jail, leaders are going forward with the idea of not having this happen anymore.
"There would be no more of that, they will all be under one roof. The court system and the jail will be together. They will be safer for inmates and the public." says Polk County Commissioner Stuart Hosiner.
It's part of a new jail and justice system proposal for a plot of land in Polk County.
"There’s a time to do something and we feel the time is right." says Sheriff Steven Bruce.
Sheriff Bruce, along with the Polk County Commission, are taking the proposal to the voters after some promising numbers came in from a recent phone survey. Fifty-five percent of the Polk County registered voters surveyed say they would either "strongly favor" or "favor" a new jail and justice facility.
"I was pleased. I felt people in the community are aware of the problem, they are hopefully willing to support it." says Sheriff Bruce.
Commissioner Hosiner adds, "I was very pleased. I was hoping they (the numbers) would be around where they are."
While both say overcrowding is an issue, they tell KOLR/KSFX steady population growth is also putting a strain on already tight resources.
"It will help the court systems, too. Once we hit 30,000, we get another judge. So when that happens, we don't have a courtroom to put him in and we have to do something with the court systems eventually. It would be cheaper to build it all together instead of building a jail then a judicial center." says Commissioner Hosiner.
As far as the price, leaders are in the beginning stages of getting a construction and operating budget started. In the meantime, a half cent sales tax will be put on the November ballot.
The land, which leaders want to build it on, also has to be annexed into the city because by state law all jails must be within city limits. So, the County Commission and Sheriff Bruce will be meeting with the Bolivar Board of Alderman on Thursday to help get that started.