By Rachel Leber
HURRICANE, Utah — Construction began on a low-security detention facility at the Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane in the middle of March. After the Washington County Commission unanimously approved the expenditure in September 2017, the county wasted no time getting this facility ready for construction.
The current facility is made up of several modular buildings. Those facilities, however, are 16 years out of date, were meant to be temporary and no longer meet the program’s needs, according to an article from St. George News. The new facility is being built on a site just behind the existing jail.
The goal moving forward is to keep the inmates at the new low-security detention facility separate from the rest of the jail population. Construction is scheduled to start by the end of March 2018, and is projected for completion by September, according to an article from The Spectrum.
The budget for the new low-security detention facility is $2 million. The 14,000-square-foot building is intended for low-risk inmates taking part in the county’s inmate worker program, and will have a capacity of up to 128 inmates. Naylor Wentworth Lund, based out of St. George, Utah, was chosen as the architect on the project, with Hughes Construction Inc., headquartered out of North Salt Lake, chosen as the general contractor.
Purgatory’s inmate worker program is one of the best in the state, said Jake Schultz, Washington County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy in a recent article from KSL.com.
Inmates participating in the program typically have four to six years left on their prison sentences but have worked their way through the system and received clearances to join work crews. Participants in the program can be seen around Washington County, cleaning up trash along highways, gardening in parks and at public facilities and doing other general labor.