The current Polk County Jail facility opened November 1, 2008. The 325,000 square-feet facility sits on 40 acres of land just north of Des Moines. The facility has 1,500 beds and the ability to expand capacity an additional 1,000 beds to handle the projected increase of Polk County’s inmate population through at least 2030. The jail is a direct supervision facility.
The Polk County Jail is the largest facility of its kind in the state of Iowa and takes advantage of the latest advances in security and jail design to house and manage inmates. The jail has full on-site kitchen and laundry facilities and houses medical services.
In 2012, Polk County and the Sheriff’s Office collaborated with Bridges of Iowa, a non-profit substance abuse treatment program, to provide an out of custody treatment program in an attempt to reduce inmate recidivism rates. Polk County allowed Bridges of Iowa to facilitate use of unoccupied space in the jail facility building for their treatment program. To date the program has had a positive impact for treating inmates, in lieu of incarceration. Polk County and the Sheriff’s Office continue to look at ways to reduce recidivism rates through partnerships with community based programs as alternatives to incarceration.