Cape May County Correctional Facility Gets Finishing Touches to Open Soon

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Cape May County officials and members of the Department of Corrections have been waiting quite some time for the new Cape May County Correctional Facility to be completed.
Come mid-January, it will finally open it's doors to the almost 300 inmates that have been staying at the former facility less than thirty feet away.
“The other jail was outdated and we were constantly getting cited for being in violation," said Cape May County Sheriff Bob Nolan. "And it wasn’t until the point in time where we could show them we were correcting the problems by building a new facility that we were given the okay to continue to stay there as long as this was being built.”

Cape May County announced they would be building a brand new 85,000 square foot correctional facility back in 2016 after exploring multiple potential plans for the former building. The sheriff explained that the new building was their cheaper option costing over $35 million. 

Another possibility that was considered was shutting down entirely and sending inmates to other jails, that would cost $12 million a year.

“So within a three year period, we’d be at $36 million and that cost will grow every year," said Sheriff Nolan. "So three years into it we’d be $36 million in the hole, and still have no answer for the future.” 

As for renovating the old building, Sheriff Nolan explained that they already had invested roughly half a million per year in unexpected costs for the deteriorating and overcrowded building, which opened in 1974.

“There was a whole host of issues that needed to be repaired on an annual basis," said Sheriff Nolan. "With a fresh new building, we don’t have that. We have used technology to improve a lot of ways things are done now.”

Aside from new technology, one of the biggest changes will be the format in which the officers and inmates work.

“Coming over from the old jail, the old jail is a linear style jail, which means the officer isn’t actually in the housing unit with the inmates," said Capt. Charles Magill, Operations Commander, Cape May Co. Jail. "So, going to the direct supervision style we’ll be going into with the new jail, it improves a lot of things. First of all, it improves the relationship with the officers and the inmates.” 

The officers have received countless hours of training to adjust to being in the housing units with the inmates. 

SNJ Today is unable to release the exact date this correctional facility will be opening it’s doors to inmates due to safety reasons, but officials say that within the next few weeks, the facility will be fully functioning and ready to go.


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