Committee discusses sales-tax increase for new Adams County jail
A look inside one of the cells at the Adams County jail
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
Sales tax could be going up in Adams County, in order to pay for a new $25 million jail.
Tuesday night the jail committee talked about a .25 percent tax increase referendum that would be on the April ballot. Corrections officers say it's not much to pay to make the jail safer.
Adams County Sheriff's officials say because this is an old jail, there are dangers within the walls of the jail that don't guarantee the safety of corrections officers everyday.
Officials say one of the biggest issues with this jail is that it's spread out onto three floors. Corrections officers say it can sometimes take them a long time to get somewhere if an incident breaks out because they have to go up and down elevators. They say it's even more challenging when they have only four or five officers on duty.
A major problem for officers is visibility as well. Officials say in modern jails there is a centralized control room with visibility across the whole jail, and it's not something they have at the Adams County jail.
"Due to the fact that just inside the wall, somebody could be there," Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer said. "This is what happened when we've had assaults on officers is that they might be hiding. You don't have that visibility."
Another problem is there aren't elevators to take inmates to the booking area, which is risky for officers.
"If we have someone that is handicapped, we have to carry them up the steps whether in a wheelchair or other physical means," Fischer said.
Now the Adams County Board will vote at their January meeting on whether or not to put the referendum on the ballot. If approved, it will be on the ballot in April.