few prisoners in the newly constructed Riverside Jail have forced city officials to reevaluate the facility’s infrastructure.
After spending $6 million on the new public safety building, the Riverside Board of Aldermen recently approved a $9,400 expenditure to replace four jail cell doors. The decision came after two incidents occurred involving a prisoner kicking and damaging the commercial-grade door on a cell.
According to Administrative Coordinator Dawn Gish of Riverside Public Safety, the funds appropriated by the board of aldermen will be used to purchase 1 3/4″ detention doors for two multi-holding, isolation and intake cells. The doors will be the same as the current padded cell door and slider door for entrance into the holding area.
Interim Public Safety Chief and Captain Tom Archibald said when the facility was being constructed they didn’t see the metal doors as a problem, because they were going from experience with the former jail, which still had wooden doors.
“When the facility was built we thought the doors would be adequate for the length of time the prisoner would be in there,” said Archibald.
“The last building’s doors were wood and we hadn’t had an incident where the prisoner would break through the door. So when we moved we thought metal would be better than wood and we wouldn’t have an issue.”
However Archibald stated they didn’t account for the larger cell size when choosing the cell doors.
“These cells are twice the size of the old detention rooms we had. Now, these prisoners are able to get a running start and damage the door, where before they couldn’t get a good start to hit the door,” said Archibald.
The new doors are expected to be installed within the next month and will be installed by Bratton Corporation of Kansas City, Mo.