A new regional jail is potentially coming to Aberdeen. The former Regal (Hub City) building has been approved for purchase. Located at 2914 Industrial Ave. in the industrial park, the $4.5 million building is over 150,000 square feet and will be able to hold over 200 inmates.
Purchasing and renovating this building will be cheaper than building an entirely new facility. “Finding an economical way to increase capacity is always on our mind,” Brown County Commissioner Mike Wiese said.
Support from surrounding counties will be necessary for the project to continue. The Brown County Commissioners agreed that if 40 percent of the $30 million required isn’t acquired before Apr. 1, 2023, the building will be sold.
Aberdeen’s current jail has been at capacity for some time now, and housing inmates has become a statewide issue. Two other regional projects were studied when planning for Aberdeen’s new jail. Lawrence County and Lincoln County are in the process of building jail facilities as well. Wiese also said that inmates originally from Aberdeen that were relocated to other facilities would be able to serve their sentence closer to home.
Upon initial opening, the entire facility will not be utilized. Wiese said that the extra space could potentially be used for workforce placement and rehab programs in the future.
“It’s not all about locking people up, but providing better rehabilitation,” Wiese said. //—Annie Scott
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