Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Sheriff's Office

Jail Consolidation Project

The Jail Consolidation Project continues to move forward.  The planned South Tower addition to the Public Safety Building will replace the outdated City-County Building Jail. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Dane County Public Works, Project Architect and Engineering consultants from Mead and Hunt, Potter Lawson, HDR, and construction manager Gilbane continue planning for the jail consolidation. The project has continued to evolve.  Material and labor costs increased during COVID-19, which has impacted the overall project budget.

The goals for the South Tower project are to:

  • Provide one consolidated jail facility.

  • Replace the outdated cell blocks in the City-County Building Jail. 

  • Provide appropriate medical and mental health space. 

  • Eliminate/significantly reduce solitary confinement.

  • Provide visitation at the housing units.

  • Provide multipurpose space to meet the programming and spiritual needs of residents.

  • Provide a downtown location close to the courthouse and bus transportation. 

  • Reduce the total number of beds.

  • Improve staffing and operational costs.

  • Minimize the impact on the existing operations during construction. 

  • Replace the Ferris Center (Huber) facility.

The Sheriff's Office Transition Team includes a Lieutenant, a Sergeant, and four deputies who lead the project and work with the design team. As the project progresses, the Transition Team and many other Sheriff's Office staff continue meeting with the Architect and Engineering team.  The team is guided by the many reports and studies prepared by consultants.   The project team has presented to the Dane County Board and Committees, community and neighborhood groups, the City of Madison Urban Design Commission, and the project citizens review committee. The project team continues to meet with other stakeholder groups that influence the operations of the Dane County Jail system to ensure the project will meet the needs of all users. In addition, they continue to refine an updated staffing plan that follows the design.

The new facility will be modern and innovative, built around the direct supervision philosophy. Deputies will be in the housing units with the residents. The facility will incorporate new technologies in both facility design and operations. The design team has worked to include as much natural light and open spaces into the project as possible.  They also added biophilic design elements and used color theory to bring nature into the building. Using normalized furniture, fixtures, and finishes as much as possible to make the facility less institutional is also a core goal of the design.

The Architect and Engineering Team completed the design and construction plans for the South Tower and the renovation of the PSB Jail during the Construction Documents phase.  The electrical services vault was relocated in 2021.  The South Tower Project went out for bid to construction firms in September of  2023.  Submissions are due by November 14, 2023.  Construction is planned to begin in early 2024.   The South Tower addition and PSB renovation will be completed in 2026.