This minimum-security facility represented a new approach to corrections nationally. The goal was to reduce the cycle of release, re-offense, and re-entry by using the inmates time in the system to focus on treatment, education, job preparedness, and a gradual supported transition back into the community.
The County did not require the $35-million maximum security facility the industry tried encouraging them to build. What they wanted was a well-built, practical building, locally designed, that fit in with the rural campus and supported staff, visitors, and 72 residents.
Once completed, the facility’s total project cost was less than $7 million, solving the overcrowding issues in the attached jail, creating a safer and healthier environment for inmates and staff, and reducing the need for a larger, maximum-security expansion. Opening in the fall of 2010, the treatment programs offered and the building’s supporting design was quickly recognized as a cost-effective solution. Three years hence, data has shown the recidivism rate dropped from an average of 68 percent, down to 17 percent annually.