City & County 'Moving Forward'
APRIL 17, 2009 -- “We are moving forward.”
County Executive Mike Sanders speaks to the County Legislature during its April 13 meeting.
With those words, Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders reported to the County Legislature that progress is steadily being made regarding the regional detention center agreement between the County and the City of Kansas City. Keeping Legislators apprised of the latest developments in the agreement has become part of nearly every recent County Executive weekly report to the Legislature.
The agreement calls for the City to close its Municipal Correctional Institution (MCI), and for the County to house MCI inmates. Sanders has stressed that the agreement is intended to be short-term, with the long-term solution being the construction of new regional detention center. (County and Kansas City Reveal Details About Regional Agreement)
The latest updates have included:
Jackson County Detention Center
Community Justice Building wth the Detention Center behind it.
• Since approving a memorandum of understanding, a preliminary agreement between the County and City, in February, the Kansas City Council has moved forward to include in its new budget the closure of MCI and transfer of inmates to a Jackson County facility.
• Drafts of contracts have been submitted to the City. As follow-ups to the memorandum of understanding, these documents will be used to finalize the details of the detention arrangement between the City and County before formal contracts are developed.
• Meetings have been held with Municipal Court judges and their staff to discuss the detention of Kansas City municipal inmates.
• Representatives from 10 service providers for MCI have begun holding meetings to ascertain their specific space and access needs, so that they may continue to serve the municipal inmates, who will be held in a County facility.
• The County plans to process municipal inmates on the ground floor of the Jackson County Detention Center, then house them on the third and fourth floors of the Community Justice Building, which is located on Locust Street adjacent to the Detention Center. The two buildings are connected by way of a secure underground walkway. City and County staff have been working together to develop renderings for rehabbing these two floors of the Community Justice Building. City staff has selected the Gould Evans architectural firm to do the necessary rehab.
A great deal of groundwork remains to be completed before an official contract can be submitted to the County Legislature. Sanders expressed confidence that the agreement will prove cost-effective for both the County and City.
“This is going to be mutually beneficial,” Sanders told the Legislators during their April 13 meeting, “so we’re going to keep moving forward.”