Jails Committee Adds Two Members


Lucy Shaw and Terry Wheeler joined the now 13-member volunteer committee formed to study the possible need for new jails in Gila County.

Shaw represents the Tonto Apache Tribe and Wheeler represents the Town of Globe.

The Gila County Board of Supervisors approved Shaw's appointment this past week and plan to approve Wheeler's appointment today, Tuesday, Supervisor Tommie Martin said.

This past Thursday, nine members of the Gila County Facilities Planning Committee toured Yavapai County's new jail in Camp Verde to view, firsthand, the disparity between the new facility and the aging ones in Gila County, facilitator David Steele said.

The group compared the new facility with what they had already seen after visits to the Payson and Globe facilities.

The committee will review different versions of successful facilities before it decides whether or not to recommend the construction of new jails in Payson and Globe.

The trip to Camp Verde is the third tour for the volunteer committee, whose task it is to determine if Gila County needs new jail and courthouse facilities. And, if so, how that new construction could be accomplished.

Committee member Ron McDaniel said he was impressed with the safety upgrades at the jail in Camp Verde.

McDaniel described a four-sectioned, pod-like setup for the jail, where corrections officers can walk around in the middle of the pods and have a clear view of everything and everyone in the jail.

"It was a lot bigger and built for the future," McDaniel said. "They certainly have a nice jail."

Steele said, that the pod-like design is an entirely different concept than the traditional jail configuration in Payson and Globe.

The committee will most likely meet again this week in Payson at Gila Community College.

For background on this story, visit payson.com archives:

  • Editorial: "After years of citizen complaints, county taking action," Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006
  • Guest comment: "Gila County needs new jail, court facilities" by Tommie Martin, Gila County Supervisor, Friday, Dec. 1, 2006
  • "County considers tax for new jail," Friday, Dec. 1, 2006

Commenting has been disabled for this item.