WARDEN JANN GARTMAN GIVES THE HISTORY OF
LEA COUNTY DETENTION CENTER
the latter part of 1984, the detention center occupied the
second and third floors of the Lea County courthouse and was a
division of the Lea County Sheriff’s Department.
On December 8, 1984,
the old jail was closed in the courthouse and the
three-story building was opened across the street from the
courthouse. Also, at that time, the overall administration and
supervision of the Detention Center was relinquished by the Sheriff’s
Department and transferred to the Lea County Board of
25, 2003 we broke ground on our new Detention Center located at
1401 S. Commercial. This building is designed to house
400 adult inmates and 32 juvenile inmates with the appropriate
infrastructure to increase the adult housing to 500. There
is a combination of direct and indirect supervision pods with a
strong emphasis on programming. The design also included a
borrowed light concept which uses natural light to flood
dayrooms and deliver filtered light to cells and other locations
in the building. This design uses the common sense notion
that abundant natural light is essential for modern jail
operations. Another design concept in the new building is
an exterior mechanical chase which allows maintenance staff to
maintain mechanical systems through an exterior access without
entering inmate areas. This also serves as a second
perimeter wall which increases security of the Detention Center.
The double outside walls also provide for a positive economical
effect to the heating and cooling systems.
unit contains an outpatient clinic and eight (8) inpatient beds.
Medical staff is on duty around the clock.
The design on the
juvenile portion of the building includes a classroom with a
computer lab, open air recreation yards and a library.
We have a large community room that is
available year around for community groups to schedule meetings.
On October 5,
2005, we moved into the new Detention Center. Our
population average is about 300 adult inmates and 10 juvenile
inmates. Of that daily average, there are over 90 adult
The Lea County
is a 432– bed county jail facility
which is located at 1401 S. Commercial,
Lovington, New Mexico 88260.
It houses both adult and juvenile
offenders of both genders.
Average daily population is 300 adult
inmates and 10 juvenile inmates. Of that
average over 90 are adult federal inmates.