JLEC Reconstruction Project
The Existing Facility
The first floor is dedicated to the Sheriff's operations and includes the County Jail. The jail was expanded in 2011, solidifying the building as the primary jail location. The second floor of the facility houses two District Courtrooms and one East Fork Justice Courtroom, the District Attorney, Constable, Court Administration, Court Computer, Justice and District Court Clerks, and Juvenile Probation. The Law Library, CASA and SAFE offices are also on this floor.
When it opened in 1982, the population was approximately 19,000 and the facility was planned to meet the justice and law enforcement needs of Douglas County for 20 years. Now, some 33 years later, with a County-wide population approaching 50,000 residents, building operations are showing signs of pressure.
As the county population has grown, the needs of the Justice and Law Enforcement Center have grown. The facility has significant, immediate deficiencies in security, overcrowding and accessibility.These issues, which are a reflection of increased population and caseloads, prevent the current users and staff from operating in a safe and efficient facility.
Immediate Deficiencies of all Agencies in the JLEC Building
- The District Attorney’s office has inadequate office space on site for its support and professional staff, and inadequate conference areas for conferences, meetings, witness preparation and victim support and preparation. Child support staff is located off site, without building and personal security for staff and clients.
- There is no secure access to the facility for judicial officers.
- There is no separation for victims and perpetrators of criminal offenses. There are no private meeting spaces for attorneys and clients. The courtrooms , hallways and clerk’s offices are overcrowded.
- The Sheriff’s office has inadequate space for Patrol, Administration, Records and Investigations divisions. The Street Enforcement Team is off site. The Investigations division does not have adequate working space or interview facilities.
- Alternative sentencing has no secure waiting area, inadequate space and inadequate separation between offices and laboratory facilities.
- Building security has a design bottleneck at the entrance to the facility.
- The Constable’s office has minimal and inadequate office space.
- An additional courtroom and space for associated support staff is needed at this time. This facility would provide room for an additional justice of peace, or for support staffing by the Tahoe Justice of Peace. It would also provide space for specialty courts and child support enforcement and other quasi-judicial and administrative proceedings.
- Projected needs are included in the analysis for deliberate and efficient Capital Improvements Planning.
"Victim support and security is my highest priority as the District Attorney and I am confident the Sheriff and the Judges share my concerns. Most victims' security is compromised coming into the courthouse the way it stands today. We need to address this concern to ensure we have secure waiting room for our victims and all members of the public conducting business here in the courthouse," Mark Jackson, Douglas County District Attorney.
"We have had some situations in the waiting rooms with disgruntled litigants. District Court Judges handle sentencing people of violent crimes, gang related crimes, terminating parental rights, and custody cases. There is inadequate security for the litigants and the judges. Reconstruction of this building is very important for all our safety," said East Fork Justice Court Judge, Tom Perkins.
Presentation Given to Board of County Commissioners (includes photos of spacial needs and security issues.)