PEORIA Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria County Jail may see some major impovments and upgrades coming in the near future.

The Peoria County Jail has more than 300 inmates in residence. It was built in 1980 and has a capacity for 500 inmates but improvements are needed.

A new jail master plan calls for cells with padding for inmates with mental health issues, a new kitchen and, a floor plan that allows for direct supervision of inmates.

Currently, the jail implements indirect supervision of inmates meaning, guards watch over the pods of inmates from cell towers and on security cameras. Direct supervision would mean for larger pods of inmates while putting more officers on the floor to supervise.

Peoria County Sheriff Chris Watkins said updating the jail has been one of his top priorities since getting the job.

“Over half of our inmates have mental health issues, we have to have something to address that with. Our kitchen is used and abused, we need a new kitchen facility, so these things will probably have to be an addition and that’s probably what I’ll push for, but everything has a price tag and this is not a great time with building costs costing so much, so we have to keep that in mind too,” said Watkins.

CGL Management Group will present a jail master plan and contract to the county board for approval on Thursday.