New state of the art county jail coming to downtown Fresno

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Local leaders came together Thursday to announce the $100 million project. (KFSN)

For the first time in a generation, Fresno County is set to build a new jail.

Local leaders came together Thursday to announce the $100 million project that will take over the corner of Merced and L Streets in downtown.

"This jail will be built with programming treating the mentally ill in mind and that's the focus and that was actually the focus for the funds that we received to build this facility," said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.

Eighty million will be funded by the state with the county responsible for the remaining $15 to $20 million.

Once the West Annex Jail is complete, the sheriff's office will then close down the nearby South Annex Jail.

"In our old jail some of the doors were so old we couldn't even buy the replacement parts. We had to machine parts to open and close doors. The heating system and cooling system were very expensive to maintain," said Mims.

That will no longer be an issue with the new state of the art jail.

The facility will eliminate the danger of long narrow hallways and instead offer updated safety features for inmates and officers.

"In a new design, it's in a pod design. We'll have a central observation point. We'll be able to look into all of the pods and efficiently supervise the inmates," said Mims.
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