The Yavapai County Justice Center in Prescott is nearing completion, about a year behind schedule.
With parking-lot striping and other final touches being completed, construction should be substantially completed in April and control of the facility handed over to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department over the summer, county spokesman David McAtee said.
The center on Prescott Lakes Parkway, next to the county’s juvenile justice center, is about half a mile east of AZ-89 on a site first identified for additional jail cells and other services in 2003.
Following years of debate and public votes against increasing the countywide sales tax supporting the jail system, the county raised the property tax rate in a move justified as necessary to build the center.
Construction began in August 2020, and the center initially was scheduled for completion in summer 2022 but the project has been delayed by supply-chain issues and labor shortages, primarily related to the pandemic.
At $63.1 million, the justice center is the most expensive project undertaken by Yavapai County.
It contains a booking and holding facility with 152 beds, which is securely connected to two courtrooms for hearings. It also will house an inpatient behavioral health evaluation center and a Connections Center intended to link people charged with crimes and those suffering from mental illness to services that help sustain their ability to live in the community.
It will expand the county’s jail capacity beyond the 664 beds at the Camp Verde Detention Center, which the county says has been over capacity for several years.
With about two-thirds of the county’s total population, Greater Prescott is where the majority of criminal incidents take place and having a holding facility nearer to its municipalities and sheriff’s substations will reduce transportation costs and officer hours spent away from patrol and other duties, the county said.
Holding facilities at the Prescott location are intended for inmate stays of up to 14 days. Those being held for longer periods will be sent to the Camp Verde jail, and sentences of a year or more are normally served in the state prison system.
For further progress updates on the center visit www.yavapaijustice.com For information about any available jobs there visit www.ycsojobs.com.