A recent article in AMERICAN Jails points out that most municipalities or county agencies are unprepared for the experience of undertaking a mega-building project such as a hospital, jail, or some other large complex which may come up once in a lifetime for the government officials involved.

Few can even anticipate the range of scenarios that could unfold over the course of several years that it may take to complete a $100 million project. What also adds to the complexity in the case of an addition or renovation is that most municipal services must remain ongoing and uninterrupted for the entire duration of renovation. A jail can’t turn inmates out into the community until construction is finished, and a hospital can’t pack-up and store all the life-sustaining equipment. The logistical web is daunting, and not for the inexperienced.

In his article, 7 Lessons for Large Construction Projects, project manager Scott Pinkerton describes the lessons learned during the construction of a $108-million update and expansion of the 235,000 s.f. Sacramento County, CA Youth Detention Center. In-house managers at the Sacramento County Probation Department had never encountered a corrections project of this magnitude and complexity, and did not have the experience to create a plan to accomplish it. To overcome that challenge, the County brought in an outside construction program manager who introduced several critical processes to foster an integrated team environment and create a cost effective operation.


For criminal justice-related facilities it is important to hire the right contractors and make them a partner in the decision-making process. They bring a wealth of experience in that particular segment that can keep a project on track, and minimize errors that could potentially create an operational security issue.

Read the full article at AMERICAN Jails


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