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Marathon County explores jail safety, expansion options near courthouse

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Marathon County Courthouse and Jail. Image taken 6/16/2011.
Marathon County Courthouse and Jail. Image taken 6/16/2011.
Marathon County administrato... (Download MP3)

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - Marathon County's administrator says the county is working to help bolster security in the jail in the wake of an officer assault last month.

The county has already formed a study group to explore options and reports. Brad Karger says they were looking for people for the jail study who were not just jail experts but community experts that have experience reading reports and looking at costs. "It's to take a look at what has happened at the jail and to help prepare a report for the new sheriff to bolster security." He says he hopes to have a report ready for the new sheriff when he moves in over the next 10 to 15 weeks.

Karger says the talks on jail expansion aren't if, but when. He expects a jail expansion in the next 25 years. "The trigger for that is when we can't purchase jail space from other counties." Marathon County has been purchasing jail rooms from neighboring counties to help house inmates for many years now.

Karger says the county is already looking at purchasing more space around the county building and has been in talks with the two attorney groups that own property to the northeast of the building. "We've reached out to them to see if they'd like to sell their property or have first right of refusal or something like that."The jail study group is set to meet next week to start their work. That meeting is set from 2 to 4pm at the Courthouse on Tuesday.

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