HELENA - Now that the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Helena Police Department are moved in and functioning at their new location, their old offices will be getting a $8.3 million make over. Expanding the jail from one floor to all three floors.
The million-dollar renovations began in March, but this process didn’t just start a month ago, it started nine years ago.
Back in 2010 the Sheriff’s Office attended a class in Denver, Colorado about the planning of a new institution, a class to help them address the needs of the jail expansion. They came up with several different plans they felt would work for the detention center but in the end, it would be for the tax payers to decide.
“And we put those before the bosses, the voters. We went with one proposal; they didn’t like that one. We came back with another proposal a little too much. The third proposal was this building, rebuilding it completely and making it all a detention center.” said Sheriff Leo Dutton.
Expanding the jail will allow them to add over 50 beds, providing them with the opportunity to hold over 150 inmates and allow them to implement new programs to rehabilitate the inmates. With the growth of the detention center, it will be necessary for them to hire new employees. Over the course of the 13-month renovation process they will be hiring over 30 new detention officers.
The project is expected to be complete in May of 2020.