DECATUR — Sheriff Thomas Schneider hopes the Macon County jail will soon be one of the few jails in Illinois to match the bunk requirements of the state.

Schneider said his office and the Decatur Public Building Commission are adding 92 bunks to the jail.

An inspection by the Illinois Department of Corrections found the Macon County Jail had an inadequate number.

Schneider said the jail has never been cited or sanctioned by the state, and the bunks will be added to enhance the jail.

“It’s an enhancement, not a requirement,” Schneider said.

A test bunk was placed in the jail to see the best way to implement additions, and an inspector was brought in to suggest changes to help meet safety standards, as well as meet the standards of the jail and state.

The cost is about $62,000, but that includes renovations to a jail pod. The costs will be paid for by the Decatur Public Building Commission, said Jerry Lord, manager of the commission.

The jail currently has 294 bunks, and the jail population fluctuates from the high 200s to the low- to mid-300s.

It has been a priority for Schneider for several years, as it not only puts the jail in compliance but will decrease liability.

Schneider and the commission hope to move forward on the plan within the next few months.

“Our goal is to be perfect, and by doing this we will be very close if not absolutely perfect in the evaluations,” Schneider said.

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