Cedar Rapids Gazette, January 20, 1974, Page 8

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette January 20, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 20, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa By Dale Kueter If you insist on seeing the inside of a jail by way of arrest, you could do a lot worse than getting locked up in the Clinton county jail. It isn’t just the new building that makes this jail about as good as a jail can be. The modern facility, part of the Clinton County Law Enforcement center, unquestionably has a lot to do with the jails security and its cleanliness. It doesn't depress a person — at least the \isitor. Instead of feeling remorse, you decide that these prisoners are indeed fortunate, suffering only the loss of free movement. Trusties and work release prisoners live in a dormitory. It is much like you would find at some colleges. Each has his own army-like bunk and locker. The floor is tiled and it is clean. Everv- Sheriff Gary Mulholland thing is clean, including the dorm’s modern shower and lavatory compartment. And a sign on the wall, posted by Clinton county Sheriff Gary Mulholland, tells part of the story: "All belongings off (the) floor and in lockers and beds made up when you leave. Room swept daily, scrubbed twice a week — Wed. and Sun. Privileges will be taken away if not done.” violations of jail rules." said Mulholland. But an examination of his rules shows a mixture of sternness and fairness. lf a prisoner tosses cigaret butts on the floor, he doesn’t get any more cigarets. All prisoners must have their cells or dorms ready for inspection daily by 9 a.m. Mail to and from lawyers, judges, ministers and the sheriff is NOT censored by jail personnel. All other mail is censored. Prisoners with problems may request a meeting with the sheriff and jailer. The Clinton jail has special quarters for persons arrested for intoxication or those mentally ill Drunk prisoners are placed in a 0-x 8 room with c e rn e n t block walls, a drain in the floor and a soft light with unbreakable lens in the ceiling. Each is given a mattress and blankets. It is impossible for a prisoner to commit suicide by hanging. Pay for Damage Took Cut In Pay Mulholland is a no-nonsense young man (37 years old) who took over as sheriff a little over a year ago at a cut in pay. He had been a carpenter. "We just don’t tolerate any Major infractions of jail rules may result iii confinement in the isolation security cell and a bread and water dict. Minor infractions are dealt with on an individual basis. Visits are restricted to the immediate family, 18 and older, and are considered a privilege that can be revoked. Visits are permitted once a week, for up to two hours, on any day. "Sunday is our busiest day for visiting ’’ said Mulholland. "After a while, the prisoners sort of work out their own schedule to allow everyone time to visit with their families.” The cellblock area doesn’t have the contrast to other jails that the trusties quarters do. Cellblocks have cement floors. Each has shower facilities and a dining table. There is considerable area for prisoners to move around. Other prisoners are given mattresses, sheets and blankets for their beds. "We have had some problems with tearing up sheets and blankets." said Mulholland "but the prisoners are charged for it.” The jailer's office at the Clinton jail is only 20 feet from the cellblock entrance. The proximity of the office and an intercom system which is left on all night and controlled by the jailer, pro-v i d e s sufficient communication in case a prisoner becomes ill or other problems develop. During the day, the same intercom system pipes music into cellblock areas, either from radio or phonograph. A public library representative visits the jail once a week bringing a new selection of books and magazines. Mulholland said pornographic literature is not allowed in the jail. Prisoners may also check out playing cards, chess sets, puzzles and other games available at the jail library. Sheriff Mulholland said doctors come to the jail for treatment of prisoners, and sometimes the prisoner is taken to a doctor’s office, depending on the situation. Next to the jail’s cleanliness, the most impressive aspect of the Clinton lock-up is security. No Escapes In 4 Years There have been no escapes from the Clinton county jail in its four years of use. Neither have ‘here been any attempted escapes. The first impediment to any would-be escapee is the fact that both the city police department and the Clinton county sheriff’s office are located on the ground floor of the Law Enforcement building. The jail, laundry facilities and the kitchen are on the second floor. Arresting officers bring accused persons directly inside a ground floor garage. From that point the security increases until reaching its maximum inside the cellblocks. Immediately after bringing an individual inside the building. and prior to going upstairs for booking the accused, it is mandatory that officers deposit all weapons in a safe. If there are a number of persons arrested at one time, there is a special holding area immediately off the elevator to limit confusion and problems during the check-in period. After being booked, prisoners must take a shower, and are then given jail clothes (white coveralls for males). There are a series of doors which must be unlocked in order to reach the elevator or stairwell which leads downstairs. It requires a number of different keys. "I just don’t know how a prisoner would get out of here very quickly even if he had my keys." said Chief Jailer Virgil Bentley. "I have a dif-f i c u 11 time remembering which key opens which door," he laughed, displaying a ring full of about 30 keys. There are no bars on the jail windows, but it would take a Houdini act to wiggle through the three inch by three foot openings. Gazette Photos bv Duane Crock TH!: CHM TOM county jail is located on the second floor of the Clinton county law enforcement center. First floor facilities are s .orec. by the sheriff's department, city police and civil defense. The building to tho right is the county court- nouse. ii no to t e trusty dorm at the Clinton county jail. It looks much li.ee a large college dorm or military billet. Prisoner nave .her own lockers, and in the rear of the dorm are two shower stal.s and lavatory facilities. Prisoners in this Jorm we.e on \,o.k release when pictures were taken. The picture at right, taken in tne same room, shews the narrow windows in the jail. may provide light, but no means of escape. who are also Clinton city residents. Operations are financed on a 75 percent county - 25 percent city ratio. The Iowa Crime commission provided $47,000 for communications equipment. The sheriff operates the jail, and the city contracts with the county to pay costs of prisoners facing city charges. The IOO- by 100-foot building has a small conference room which is used by all three agencies. The sheriff’s department and police have common record and evidence rooms. A single radio operator handles police and sheriff's calls under the joint communications system. THIS empty cell in the top security ares of the Clinton jail includes commode and wash basin, night light and unbreakable mirro-. The bullpen area outside the cell is quite large, and contains separate shower facilitie. and a dining table. Cost Set At $800,000 Add the proximity of the jailer s office, and the "mandatory’’ check of the cellblocks every hour and the reason for no escapes becomes obvious. In addition to the police and sheriff, the ground floor houses the county civil defense office There is no basement because it is constructed on flood plain. The center cost around $800,000 to construct, of which $105,000 came in federal civil defense funds. The balance was shared 85 percent from the county and 15 percent from city sources. The formula was based on the number of county residents The jail has a capacity for 54 prisoners, but the average population is 30. "We really haven’t had any problems.’ Mulholland commented on .ne joint facilities. "It has worked out perfect. "The only thing I would change if we were doing it over is include some type of gym facility" he said. "There is no place for prisoners to exercise.” School Art Exhibit In Coe s Gage Union Art from Harrison elementary school and Franklin junior high school is now being exhibited in the lobby of Stuart lounge, Gage union, Coe college. The Harrison collection fea tures collages, free-form imagi nation drawings, paintings and a color panel I The Franklin exhibit includes block prints and drawings. The exhibit will remain until the end of January. Burglar's Conscience Brings Back Outboard NKW ULM, Minn (AF) -Norwin “Rockie” Schultz had almost forgotten about the IO horsepower outboard motor sto-i ien from a boat parked beside his house two years ago. Saturday night hK daughter.! Susan, received a telephone call! from a man who said he wanted t# return the motor if >he wouldn’t call the police The man placed the motor on the floor of the garage and left. He; told Susan he used the motor but last summer his conscience I bothered him so much he couldn’t put if in the water. He was driving through New Ulm Saturday and wanted to clear his conscience, he said. penney, nead tailer at the Clinton county jail, demonstrates intercom console w.vc xecps his office and cellblocks in communication. The console includes AM-FM ra-d,o and phonograph. Bentley ach at a radio D-J in tome respect-,, taking requests from prisoners for either a particular song recording or piping radio music to the cells. "Most ot them seem to like western music," he said. THERE is quite a contrast between reading materials at the Linn and Clinton jails. The Linn jail s reading rack was empty the day The Gazette took pictures. The Clinton jail s book supply is handled by the public library. THERE a.o several visit ng areas at the Clinton ia I to allow prisoners more time wiih Ta lilies. Visit ig hours are from i to ] p.m. Prisoners may have visitors once a week, on any day. Visits may last os long as two hours, but of-baals say most average a half hour. X&ngetis For th* Finest in Points At the Home of the Free... Free Checking with no service charges and no gimmicks. For personal and business accounts. Another free service from the Home of the Free. GUARANTY BANK & TRUST CO. 3rd St. t 3rd A*,. Downtown. 1819 42nd SI. NE • IPI Jacolyn Dr NW PHONE 362-2115 Cleanliness, Security Are Obvious at Jail in Clinton ;

  • Dale Kueter
  • Gary Mulholland
  • Virgil Bentley

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: January 20, 1974

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