BALDWIN, Ga. — The Criminal Justice and Detention Facility Seminar at SteelCell of North America in Baldwin, Ga,. drew in guests from around the country to discuss key elements to contribute to the development of detention facilities.
A total of 55 attendees were present at the event. The guests included architects, construction firms and several county officials.
The seminar featured presentations on jail financing methods, construction delivery, concerns over mental health in county jails and also an owner’s perspective on building a county jail.
The host of the seminar, SteelCell — is a leader in the steel cell industry. SteelCell has been manufacturing steel detention cells since 1995 and according to the company has complete more projects each year than any other company in the steel cell industry.
One guest of the event, Sheriff Brian Marks of Cloud County, Kan., has been familiar with SteelCell products. Cloud County is currently in the process of building a new 80-bed facility.
“What brought me out from Kansas is we’re in the process of building a new jail and SteelCell was one of the vendors that we were being told was going to be used for parts of our jail, and I really wanted to see firsthand how they are built and how they were being constructed,” said Marks.
“Our current jail was constructed in 1929, so it is a little outdated,” said Marks. “We’re really looking forward to getting something done.”
Among those at the seminar was William Johnston, a representative from the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based financial firm, Raymond James. He discussed the different ways in which the private sector can get involved with short and long term financing of public projects.
Joe Campbell, former County Commissioner of White County, Ga. spoke to the guests on his past experience on county correctional projects. He stressed to county officials the importance of researching and working closely with companies brought onto jobs in order to run a smooth project.
SteelCell President and CEO Mike Smith answered questions regarding design, construction and products used to develop detention facilities.
“You’re assured you’re getting a quality product that’s probably going to last longer than any other equipment in your jail—and you need it to,” said Smith. “You don’t need to be worried about the walls in your jail. You need to be manipulating doors to keep them operating and greased so that they open easily.”
The seminar was followed by a tour of the SteelCell headquarters where attendees were able to view the premises and see first hand the manufacturing of the industry’s leader in steel cell production.