Minnehaha County Jail expansion nears completion

KSFY News took a look inside the Minnehaha County Jail. Henry Carlson Construction and JE Dunn are building the project as a joint venture.

More than a year after its groundbreaking the Minnehaha County Jail expansion is almost complete. The 48 million dollar project nears its completion that will add more beds and tackle the overcrowding problem.

The new dorms will be opening within the next few weeks. With more space in the jail means more room for inmates and more job opportunities in Sioux Falls.

As Sioux Falls grows so does the crime in the county. The Minnehaha County Jail has dealt with overcrowding and felt a new addition to the building would help.

“That’s one thing that we always needed is more bed space because the jail’s been overcrowded and that puts a strain on staff,” Lieutenant Kurt Schaunaman said.

The original building was built to hold around 400 inmates and with the new additions it’ll solve the overcrowding problem the county has been trying to fix for years.

“On the 5th floor it’ll hold an extra 128 and then on the new expansion of the sides it’ll be about 320,” Schaunaman said.

That level of the jail will have four different dorms that each hold 32 inmates. Between each dorm there’s a recreation area where the inmates can play basketball or workout. Maybe even catch a fresh breeze through the windows that actually open compared to the ones that don’t in the dorm area. View the story on KSFY’s website.