Scott County Jail to be Featured in "Jails of America"

April  07, 2014

A crew is filming in the Scott County Jail today, but it's not from Hollywood or a big production company. Sheriff Dennis Conard says a few months ago, the National Institute of Corrections asked if it could shoot scenes in the seven-year-old jail, for use in a new training DVD.  The 30-minute video will be called "Jails of America." And Conard says the jail in downtown Davenport is one of four across the country that'll be used in the DVD.

The federal institute's goal is to update and demonstrate principles of direct supervision. "Direct supervision means that the inmates and correctional officers are occupying the same space at the same time which enhances our ability to directly supervise the inmates. So instead of being a linear jail where inmates are one side of the bars and the corrections staff is on the other, we're interacting directly in the housing unit with the inmates."

Part of the goal is to prevent inmates from winding up in jail again. So prisoners can enroll in several programs, including drug rehabilitation. For that program, Conard says the rate of recidivism has dropped from 66 percent before the jail switched to direct supervision, down to 20 percent. 

The National Institiute of Corrections already knew a lot about the Scott County Jail before selecting it as a site for the video. "They had done some training for us prior to our opening. They had been referring people to tour our facility if they were looking into direct supervision facilities. So they thought our facility would be ideal for their purposes."

The crew of five to seven people will film today and tomorrow at the Scott County Jail. Sheriff Conard says inmates may ask not to be included, and Sheriff Conards says the faces of those who agree to participate will not be shown directly.


(Photos from