Sewage problem temporarily shuts down Sublette County jail
by Sublette County Sheriff’s Office
February 17, 2016
PINEDALE, WYO – Feb. 16, 2016 - At approximately 1:30pm on Monday, February 15, the Sublette County Dispatch and Detention Center was temporarily shut down after sewage began running up through the communal showers in two of the day rooms and in a number of toilets in cells of the jail facility. Of the 23 inmates currently being housed in the facility, 18 were transported to surrounding counties, including Sweetwater, Fremont, Lincoln, and Teton. Five were housed in areas of the facility not affected by the sewage problem and remained in the building.
"We have a number of individuals involved in the same case, and must be kept separate to ensure the protection of their right to a fair trial," explained Captain Gabriel Torres as to why inmates were sent to different facilities. "It will cost approximately $195 per inmate, per day, for just Sweetwater County, so we’re hoping to have them [inmates] back with us quickly."
Dispatch, which is located within the detention center, was moved to the emergency command trailer and operations have continued without issue. "We had the opportunity to practice using this equipment when the dispatch center was being upgraded last fall," Sheriff Stephen Haskell said. "We are fortunate to have an outlet like this for these types of situations."
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office takes up the basement and two additional floors of the south side of the original courthouse. A major remodel was undergone in 2004, but there have been a few plumbing issues within the last few years. An independent audit of the jail done last spring identified a number of areas of concern for the Sheriff and commissioners. SCSO staff has been working with maintenance to address those issues as time and funding allows.
"Jails are difficult… they are 24/7 operations and things break down constantly. It is a large budget concern because not only do we have the responsibility of the building maintenance and security of the facility, but we have the safety, security and responsibility of care for everyone that enters our area of the building. For inmates, that means food, clothing, and any medical care they may need while in our custody," Sheriff Haskell said. "It costs a lot of money to maintain a jail and is part of our responsibility of the Sheriff’s Office.