Meet the Facility

Facility Name: Jackson County Sheriff's Office Detention Center

Website: Location: Kansas City, Missouri Year Built/Opened: Opened in 1984, addition in 1999 Average Daily Population: 675 Males; 80 Females

Community Supervision: 158 Males; 31 Females Sheriff: Darryl Forte Director: Diana Knapp Number of Staff: 235 Civilians

Number of Volunteers: 5 Operating Budget: $33,075,532 Method of Inmate Supervision: Direct and Indirect Supervision Point of Contact: Diana L. Knapp, Director of Corrections,

Photo: Jeff Roberts, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center is in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, near the state line between Missouri and Kansas. It is one of the largest jails in the region. In service to the vision of Sheriff Darryl Forte, the Detention Center is committed to becoming a premier corrections agency.

Two hundred and thirty-five associates staff the 800-bed facility and monitor a pre-trial community supervision program that can have as many as 400 participants. To ease serious overcrowding and pandemic concerns, Jackson County courts rarely sentence offenders to serve time in the facility, and an administrative order from the Presiding Judge prevents the admission of any arrestee with a bond below $5,000. Twenty-four percent of Jackson County detainees are pending trial for homicide cases, 34% for crimes against persons (domestic assault, assault, robbery, etc.), and 9% for sex crimes.

Safety and security of staff and inmates are always the #1 priorities. Despite the dependency on architecture in an aging facility designed for indirect supervision, the Detention Center has successfully reduced workers’ compensation claims by 71% since 2019.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office believes the safe and humane care of those confined in our facility is improved by celebrating professionalism, gaining voluntary compliance, transparency, and responsiveness to concerns expressed by detainees, their families, and community stakeholders. The Detention Center team has worked

hard to establish trust through building relationships with other law enforcement agencies, the legal community, service providers, and treatment agencies. And our team strives to deliver meaningful customer service in all our interactions with the public.

To retain quality staff and encourage career advancement and skills development, they initiated 10% pay differentials for staff in the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) and for those officers who become Certified Jail Officers (CJOs) through the American Jail Association. In 2021, 17% of CJOs nationwide worked in the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center. Despite these ongoing efforts, staffing remains a concern. In Spring, 2022, the Detention Center had a 33% vacancy rate for corrections officers.

In response to the inefficiencies of the current design and deterioration over the complex’s life cycle, Jackson County, Missouri officials are building a 1,240 bed-Adult Detention Center which is on track to open in early 2025. The new design will provide for more direct supervision living areas, trauma-informed housing for adjudicated youth with supportive adult supervision, natural light in all living areas and associate workspaces, better program space, improved amenities for staff, and a greater focus on officer wellness. Coupled with efforts to bridge the divide between law enforcement and the community, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center is on pace to make meaningful contributions to the industry in best practices and person-centered service delivery.

Photos: Jeff Stead, Jackson County Communications Department