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Jail study provider explains process

Ken Upchurch, co-owner of TCU Consulting services, explained Friday the process that will be taken as his firm begins the feasibility study on a new Pike County Jail.

First, Upchurch said he wants to meet with the stakeholders to determine wants, needs and expectations.

“This has been done with the exception of meeting with the judges, which is currently being scheduled,” Upchurch said. “The goal is to get everything on the table for consideration.”

Although the facility feasibility study just kicked off Wednesday, Upchurch said most of the historical data needed for the study such as inmate bookings, average daily population and average length of stay has already been collected.

The firm began work with the county in September after being awarded a $109,500 contract in mid-August.

The commission had been searching for months for a third party provider to conduct a feasibility study for the county.

Commissioner Russell Johnson, District 6, said the county needed a third party to look at the data to make sure whatever jail the county builds is built to last for years and is designed without waste.

With the historical data now being analyzed, Upchurch said the firm is reviewing the existing facility, space and operations, which he said will take about two weeks.

Upchurch said another upcoming task is analyzing the factors that drive the needs for jail beds.

“This will summarize the impact of crime and court trends on inmate bed populations and demands on the court system,” Upchurch said. “We are still gathering some of this data and will start the analytics shortly.”

Some of the other work that the firm will complete once the data analysis is finished includes developing an inmate profile, forecasting future bed capacities based on current and historical trends, determining space requirements, conducting site assessments, developing preliminary construction cost estimates, developing a staffing model and identifying operating costs.

Upchurch said the historical data for the jail should be completely analyzed by early January for the net phases to begin.