New Lyon County jail site subject of special meeting |

New Lyon County jail site subject of special meeting

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

Though Silver Springs has long been cited as an ideal location for a new jail facility in Lyon County, the option has never been finalized.

It could be at a special meeting of the county commissioners, set for 2 p.m. Thursday in the county administrative building in Yerington.

“We’re hopefully going to select a location,” said County Manager Donna Kristaponis. “Though we’ve talked about Silver Springs, a vote has never been taken, so we need to nail that down, especially if we are going to go to the Legislature and ask for their help.”

The county hopes the state will help with the estimated $20 million cost of a new facility.

Kristaponis said the spot under consideration is a 20-acre parcel the county is seeking to obtain from the Bureau of Land Management. It is west of the schools and east of the state women’s correctional facility.

She added that a new jail was essential for the county, because the current jail is overcrowded.

“We know a lot more about prisoners and how to care for them, and you have to have eye-to-eye contact with a central control,” she said.

“You have to go down the halls of our jail to see the prisoners. We just have a very old-fashioned jail.”

Lyon County Sheriff’s Capt. Allen Veil, who will begin his term as newly elected sheriff in January, said a new jail needs to be centrally located.

“By centrally located, I mean population-wise,” he said. “That’s probably going to be in the Silver Springs area, though it’s not definite. It could also be in Stagecoach.”

Wherever it goes, Veil agreed that a new jail is desperately needed.

“Our facility in Yerington is severely outdated,” he said. “We don’t have bed space for existing jail population and with projected growth, we’re already up against it.”

The jail will not include a facility for juvenile offenders, Kristaponis said, as counties cannot mix juveniles and adults. Lyon County officials are working with Churchill County to build a juvenile detention facility together, she said.

One of the things the current jail in Yerington doesn’t have is an area or program for mentally ill inmates. The creation of a committee to look into the needs of mentally ill prisoners will also be considered at the Thursday meeting.

“That’s been a hot topic for a long time,” Kristaponis said. “Persons with mental health problems have a tendency to find themselves in the judicial system. “

Maureen Williss, the county’s liaison to advisory groups, said the county’s Criminal Justice Advisory Council will meet at 8 a.m. Friday to discuss criminal justice issues, including the handling of mentally ill inmates.

Kristaponis said the jail project is expected to create jobs wherever the facility is built.

“It’s a major construction project, and a bigger jail will need new employees,” she said.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.

If you go

WHAT: Lyon

County Commission meeting

WHEN: 2 p.m.


WHERE: 27 S.

Main St.,


CALL: (775) 463-6531

WHAT: Lyon

County Criminal


Advisory Council


WHEN: 8 a.m.


WHERE: 27 S.

Main, Yerington

CALL: (775) 463-6531