Many Duval County voters believe jail should be moved to another location

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new University of North Florida poll released on Monday morning shows a majority of voters in Duval County think the county jail should be moved to another location.


The jail has been in its current location downtown for nearly 50 years and residents told Action News Jax that it needs to go.

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“It would be great to see it gone as well,” Jacksonville resident Joshua Taylor said.

A new research poll from UNF shows how Duval County voters feel about the Duval County jail that currently sits in the downtown area.

The poll asked voters if they would support or oppose the idea of public funding going towards a new jail and administrative building, and relocating it from downtown Jacksonville.

RELATED STORY: ‘A prime piece of property:’ Council President makes his case for relocating the Duval County jail

Fifty-two percent of those polled said yes.

Joshua Taylor has lived in downtown Jacksonville his entire life. He said that he wants the current jail gone.

“I believe that the old theory that all of the government buildings should be along the river has long since passed it’s prime,” Taylor said.

The poll also states 40 percent of voters were opposed to the idea.

Taylor said the jail and administrative building shouldn’t be in the urban core.

“I think that it would do a lot to help the homeless issue downtown,” Taylor said. “I think it would provide much more riverfront space to develop and kind of make a cohesive downtown.”

READ: JSO ends contract with jail’s healthcare provider amidst reported issues and concerns

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office website, the Police Memorial Building opened in 1977. It’s nearly 50 years old.

Another portion of the poll states it’s estimated to cost $380 million in public funds for a new jail and administrative building.

Greg Adams, another Duval County resident, was asked if he’d be ok with taxpayer dollars going toward this new jail.

“Maybe, maybe. The growth and how expensive it is to build jails around the county -- maybe it’s a good thing,” he said.

Last week Action News Jax spoke with Jacksonville City Council Vice President Randy White. He said that the city has a long road ahead of it before the council makes a decision on what it plans to do with the 16-story building.

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“Hopeful we will be in a new facility, hopefully within five years,” White said. “My task is just to try and figure out what we need to do with that building to do more than a patching, to get us through the next 5 years.

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