Many counties in the state of Kansas are struggling with housing inmates, mostly because of either overcrowding or outdated facilities that do not meet minimum requirements. Rooks County no longer fits into that category with the opening of their new jail facility on December 13, 2016.
The new facility will not only house over 20 inmates, but will also provide a level of security that was seriously lacking at the old jail. Housed in the new building will be the Rooks County Sheriff and officers, jailers and dispatchers, as well as the Emergency Management department.
The former jail was located on the 4th floor of the county courthouse, which was built in 1921-23. Not only was space severely limited at the courthouse, but the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, preventing any major renovations from being done to the jail area. Security for the other three floors was also a major concern.
The new jail allows for minimal contact with the inmates and everything can be monitored from one central location. An unloading facility allows for inmates to be processed with no access to the outside. A kitchen facility allows for onsite meal preparation.
The new jail is located to the north of the Rooks County Fairgrounds at 803 S. Elm.