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Architects recommend 1915 Warren County jail build new facility

MONMOUTH, Illinois – Architect Michael Fries recommends Warren County should tear down it’s jail and build a new one after he made an assessment on the century old facility.

The facility, built in 1915, is so old the jail employees sometimes question suspects in the buildings back kitchen. And you don’t have to look hard to see the Warren County jail is starting to crumble.

“The proof is in the pudding,” says Warren County Sheriff Martin Edwards.

He’s been the Sheriff since 2005 and knows the 104-year-old building has its challenges.

“I’ll call it a problem,” says Sheriff Edwards.

“It’s at the end of its useful life,” comments Fries.

Warren County hired Fries to look and recommend if the jail needed an addition, a renovation, or a fresh start altogether.

“Things you would find in a normal jail or even a normal police station nowadays they weren’t there when the building was built 100 years ago and those improvements have not been made,” Fries says.

The county paid $28,000 for the assessment. Now, with Fries recommendation the county board has a decision to make.

“It came to a point where we said no more band-aids we need something done,” says Warren County Board Member Sean Cavanaugh.

The next step, the County Board is forming a Citizen Advisory Committee who will investigate the options of possibly building a new facility.

“I’m not looking for a diamond in the rough, I’m just looking for a working government building,” Sheriff Edwards says.

Last year, the jail did a few repairs – like the showers upstairs – but even that wasn’t enough to keep the jail running for years to come.

In an inspection last year, the jail was told they can’t house women because of the sight and sound limitation.  The women are now being housed in Mercer County costing Warren County $40 a day for each inmate.

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