New Eau Claire Co. jail near completion

By: Joe Nelson Email
By: Joe Nelson Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - After a decade of controversy and now construction, the new Eau Claire County jail is just about ready for inmates.

From accused murderers to drunk drivers, up to 260 inmates are set to move to their new home next month in the new jail.

"I had jet black hair at the start of this and I've got a lot of grey hairs over the process," Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer said.

"(Increased space in) The booking area, the laundry room and the kitchen ... those are going to be some significant areas that the public is going to be impressed (with)."

Aside from more space and convenience for officers, Cramer said the $34.5 million project is designed to increase security for staff and inmates, by separating minimum, medium and maximum security-level offenders.

"The (central) pod system gives us a really good line of sight for each of the inmates," Cramer said.

"Get away from taking a look at the new paint, the new doors, and the new facility. This is a very stark, ... very basic jail. It solves a lot of problems with our staff and the classifications," he said.

There are new TVs for inmates to watch but Cramer said there's a safety reason for that. He said if inmates are content watching TV they're less likely to create problems.

"We can put in programming that we want them to see." "If they cooperate with us, they can watch TV. If they're uncooperative the TV goes off ... I hate to say it's like 'Child rearing 101,' but it really is."

With the possibility of building two more floors on top of the new jail, Cramer said it could have room to grow for 50 to 100 years.

"I'm just very proud of the people that got behind this ... Everybody has a lot to be proud of."

With some electrical installations and inspections left, Cramer said he hopes the jail can open by the last week of Aug.

Tours are scheduled to be open to the public Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by anonymous Location: Eau Claire on Jul 16, 2012 at 05:36 AM
    Went to take a tour around 10:45am on Sunday and was told I'd have to wait an hour and 15minutes for the next tour. I'm sure because I'm non union and complaining I'll be in the jail in another capacity soon.
  • by Anonymous Location: Eau Claire on Jul 15, 2012 at 09:05 PM
    Don't understand why anybody would want to tour a jail. Once it gets to that point it's pretty much the end of the line. It doesn't get much worse than that. My son was in jail for six and a half months and have no desire to ever see the court house again. Moreover if I never deal with the staff again I'd be satisfied. That goes for the juvenile detention center as well. That is no place to be celebrated.
  • by Power to the people on Jul 15, 2012 at 07:24 PM
    Still not enough room for all the doppers!
    • reply
      by Hippie on Jul 16, 2012 at 06:44 AM in reply to Power to the people
      What is a dopper?
  • by Anonymous on Jul 15, 2012 at 02:15 PM
    I hope the new jail tours will be a big tourist attraction.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 15, 2012 at 02:00 PM
    We spend more money on the criminal justice system than we do on education. Go figure.
  • by stan Location: Eau Claire on Jul 15, 2012 at 01:07 PM
    May it be used as little as possible.
    • reply
      by Eau Really on Jul 16, 2012 at 11:21 AM in reply to stan
      , but as often as needed.
  • by boondoggle on Jul 15, 2012 at 09:03 AM
    what a huge waste of tax payer monies. Now they want to remodel the old jail? . That should have been included in the original budget. But than it would have had to be voted on by the tax payers . Scam pulled on the people. again, Time for ludwigson out and a new sherriff that does not sue the county and get sued for shredding the peoples rights,and accepting every single federal grant too suppress the freedom of eau claire county,Wake Up people
    • reply
      by John on Jul 15, 2012 at 08:19 PM in reply to boondoggle
      You have no idea of which you write.
      • reply
        by anon on Jul 15, 2012 at 11:28 PM in reply to John
        Actually, Howard Ludwigson is on the county board, and the board of directors for the bank that made the loan. Conflict of interest? As for sheriff Cramer, a judge just ruled that he violated an elderly couple's civil rights. He also is in charge of a group of criminals also known as the drug task force, who are finally in some hot water for warrantless searches, and assaulting an elderly woman.
  • by Lori on Jul 15, 2012 at 07:30 AM
    I wonder if they will be hiring more people for this facility. Like more guards or etc....
    • reply
      by Ralph on Jul 15, 2012 at 08:24 AM in reply to Lori
      When they started lobbying for this new jail, one of their talking points was that they wouldn't need more staff and didn't include that in the cost of the project. That changed after they got it past the city and county and they suddenly needed a lot more staff. They whittled it down some and I believe they have already hired and trained the added staff. Apparently they don't have enough staff to act as tour guides for the unopened facility.
      • reply
        by facts on Jul 15, 2012 at 06:53 PM in reply to Ralph
        Actually there were enough staff to act as tour guides. There was also an overwhelming community response to the tours. Did you go Ralph, or do you just read the headlines and make comments? If you had gone on the tour your post would have said something to the fact that by the size of the facility it seems like they need more staff once the jail is open.
  • by debill Location: Eau Claire on Jul 14, 2012 at 05:54 PM
    We were very disappointed today- we arrived at the jail for a tour at 12:50pm for a tour and was told the next tour would be at 2pm!! We had heard that the tours were every 15 minutes.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 15, 2012 at 10:33 AM in reply to debill
      Hey Kids, let's go on tour of the new jail! Yippeee!!!
    • reply
      by reader on Jul 15, 2012 at 03:57 PM in reply to debill
      Don't be disapointed, be happy. Why would you arrive 10 minutes before the last tour of the weekend was suppose to start then be disapointed that you had to wait a while. The last tour was suppose to start at 1:00 p.m. Like you, I also arrived late 12:45 like you did and was overjoyed to still get a tour. I was one of the over 200 people still hoping to get a tour that late. I appreciate that the sheriff, luitenant, captian, seargants, and jailers stayed later just so I could have a tour. It was well worth my time. And the paper also indicated that there would be groups of 15. I know I had over 50 people in my group. Hats of to the staff that managed these tours all weekend. You all did a fine job and you all should be proud of the work you are putting into your new facility.
    • reply
      by Kevin on Jul 15, 2012 at 05:15 PM in reply to debill
      they were probally all full, i went today at 9:15 and went on the 9:45 tour, patience my friend, they have a lot of people that want to go see this facility....Having gone on the tour, all i can say is money well spend and overneeded for EC County !!!!! Congrats !!!!
WEAU 13 NEWS 1907 S. Hastings Way Eau Claire, WI 54701 By Phone: Main Number (715) 835-1313 and (715) 832-3474. Tip Line (715) 839-WEAU - (715) 839-9328 Sports Line (715) 852-1537
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 162416266 - weau.com/a?a=162416266
Gray Television, Inc.