Justice with Dignity

In order to provide for the public safety of the citizens of Jackson County, it is sometimes necessary to detain and house those who may harm themselves or others in the County Jail. Most of these individuals are awaiting trial, sentencing, or, if sentenced, incarceration at state institutions.

Jackson County will meet the community’s needs by planning and building a detention center that is safe, secure, efficient to operate, and incorporates thoughtfully designed long-term solutions for the Jackson County Justice System.

One of the key elements of planning, building, and operating a detention center, is respecting the dignity of detained individuals. To accomplish this, the facility will provide evidence-based treatment and training opportunities that address the needs of the individual and the underlying causes of criminal behavior.

Project Timeline

Jackson County Detention Center Timeline


Overcrowding and deteriorating facilities require the need for an upgraded Jackson County Detention Center. With a new facility comes a new approach.

Jackson County has established a multi-phase plan to support the planning, design, construction, and activation of a new jail facility for its citizens.

The new facility will institute best management practices, and a safe environment for detainees, visitors, and employees. It will include educational resources and social services programs—all aimed at making our community better by reducing relapse into criminal behavior and helping to encourage productive members of society.

Projected Detainee Population

Validation of Need

The first phase of the plan focused on defining the needs of the facility. Needs were determined by evaluating previous studies and collecting information from the existing facility. The research was then condensed into a report that outlines the best data for understanding the long-term capacity requirements for the Jackson County jail system capacity needs.

Programming Phase

The Programming Phase guided county officials in the preparation of a new jail design that would accurately meet the goals, objectives, and conditions for both the immediate and future needs of the county. JCDC Partners developed a programming strategy to review the main facility components of a new detention center and to discuss the current facility and operational state, trends and benchmarks, and desired future operational state and associated space needs. In essence, the programming document determined how the facility will be built.

In the process of developing the programming strategy, over 20 bi-weekly virtual program sessions were conducted with stakeholders between April and June 2020. Stakeholders included the Steering Committee, County representatives and the Sheriff’s staff. Three case studies of detention facilities across the nation were conducted in conjunction with the programming sessions to review best practices for intake/transfer/release facilities, medical and mental health, and housing alternatives.

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Based on the long-term needs of the Jackson County Justice System as informed by the Validation of Need and Programming Phases of the project, representatives for Jackson County were tasked to look for a parcel of land to serve the needs of the new Jackson County Detention Center. 

Upon County Legislature approval, the County entered into a brokerage agreement with Newmark Zimmer to identify and ultimately assist in the acquisition of a site for the detention center. Additionally, the County’s owner’s representative, JCDC Partners,  evaluated the potential sites with civil and geotechnical engineering services to assist in the analysis of alternative sites. 

JCDC worked with the Steering Committee to agree on the site selection criteria, the primary drivers being an optimum size of 50 acres and a travel distance of between 20-30 minutes to the two Courthouses and to Truman Medical Center. Subsequently, JCDC began a process for identifying and vetting all viable project site options on behalf of the County, including properties that were listed for sale and those that were potentially viable but were not on the market. Over 44 sites were evaluated.

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The Criteria Document Phase conveyed the County’s design and construction requirements through a summary of work that included technical requirements, plans, project constraints, reference materials and contractual requirements. The documents allowed the County to provide a higher level of definition and project detail refinement for the new detention center.

Through many meetings with the staff of Jackson County and the Project Steering Committee, the Criteria Phase was created by defining specific details and requirements for the project as summarized by the team. Due to the complexity and scope of the project, the criteria documents provided a road map for the future design and construction team as they proceeded with the project.

The criteria documents outlined the specific conditions and constraints of the project and allowed the winning bidder to proceed with a clear vision of the project. Specific details of the documents included the following:

  • Outlined the basis for bids and procurement
  • Identified technical issues, risks, and project constraints
  • Defined lifecycle criteria, including operation and maintenance of the facility
  • Maximized innovation opportunities
  • Established quality assurance criteria
Project Delivery Method for the Jackson County Detention Center
Project Delivery Method for the Jackson County Detention Center


Following an in-depth evaluation, the steering committee determined that the best value construction delivery method based on the financial and project management strategy was the design-build approach. After a thorough three-step qualifications-based selection process, Jackson County has engaged JE Dunn | Axiom | DLR as the Design-Build (DB) Team. The team will have primary design and construction responsibility for the Jackson County Detention Center. The project will be accomplished in multiple phases, including pre-construction, design and construction.


A guaranteed maximum price of $301,162,067 has been established by the design build contractor, JE Dunn + Axiom Construction. The County will finance the project with the use of $22 million in County general fund reserves, the sale of $262 million in bonds, $10.5 million in construction fund interest earnings from the bonds, and $7.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to finance the courtroom portion of the project. The County Legislature will appropriate and approve funding of the project through the submission of component packages. Design details to support the component packages will be approved by the County Executive staff and their Owner’s Representative, JCDC Partners, in accordance with established criteria and schedule for the project.

Ordinance for Financing

Ordinance for Appropriation

The project has been authorized with financing approved by the County Legislature to build 1000 beds. Design for the project allows for future expansion opportunities as the County’s needs increase.