Dwayne Carey
Boone County Sheriff
Boone County Sheriff's Department and Jail
2121 County Dr.
Columbia, MO 65201
Office (573) 875-1111
Fax (573) 874-8953

History of the Boone County Jail

1934/1978 Jail View from Ash Street to the north side of the 1934/1978 Jail (which was located on the north part of the Courthouse Square)

This view is looking to the Southeast. You see on the left side of the picture the original 1934 Sheriff’s Quarters and offices, and the middle would be the actual 1934 Jail building that held a maximum of 24 inmates. The remaining building is what is referred to as the "78 addition", as it was the result of a bond issue approved by the City of Columbia, to construct a 48-bed addition on to the jail, for housing of municipal prisoners as well as county prisoners. This "arrangement" allowed the City of Columbia to close their existing Municipal Jail located on the upper floor of the present Columbia Police Building at 601 Walnut. You can note the "officer entrance" to the right of the sign and the "public entrance" to the left of the sign. The basement of jail maintained the control room, property storage, visitation, holding, kitchen, and emergency generator. A garage door located right of the existing photograph was intended for a vehicular sally-port, however it was never constructed large enough to practically use and was merely a port of deliveries to the jail for the duration of the building’s use.


Control room of the old jail View towards the interior officer entrance from the control room of the jail

This is the view towards the interior officer entrance from the control room of the jail. You notice the row of camera monitors on the right and the board of control buttons on the counter. Basic jail staff included one control room officer, a supervisor, and one to two roving officers assigned to the floor. All movement by inmates had to be monitored and assisted by officer supervision. There were no computers, no lap-top units, and all reports were hand written; the only typed report was the 0700 report which chronicled the day’s arrest for the preceding 24 hours period. In the 1970s, staffing was significantly less, with only one officer in the jail. Jail checks had to be accomplished by the road officers who came into the jail specifically for that purpose. In the early 1980s greater responsibility and staffing was exhibited by Sheriff's and the jail become a more self-sufficient model of administration and operation


12-man housing units located in the 1978 addition to the old jail This is a view into one of the 12-man housing units located in the 1978 addition to the old jail

This is a view into one of the 12-man housing units located in the 1978 addition to the old jail. Six two-man cells placed in an "L-format" around two metal tables. No real room to exercise, or have much personal space. An exercise yard was established with the 1978 renovation, however, the fencing was never secure enough to allow actual exercise and staff was never in place to supervise that process as well. Female inmates were generally housed in the 1934 section of the jail, however, from time to time, one of the 12-man tanks were taken over by an exploding female offender population. Due to the open view into the cells, blankets were hung on the cell fronts to afford the female inmates some privacy when that occurred. You will notice there are no phones in this cell block. Phones were dialed by officers, who handed the receivers to the offender through the bars. This was very staff intensive and small privileges like phone calls to family enjoyed by today’s offenders were rare in the old jail. )