301 W. Franklin Street
Taylorville, IL 62568
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FROM THE SHERIFF’S DESK VOL. 2 #1
By Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp
As we start another calendar year, I’m looking forward to continued strong achievement by the staff, bolstered by a high degree of success in the administration of our duties and obligations to the citizens of Christian County.
As you know, one of the key responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Office is the administration of the Correctional Center. Our Jail Administrator, Andrew Nelson, has just published his Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2010/2011. This report presents an impressive list of achievements that were made last year.
KEY POINTS IN THE ADMINISTRATOR’S ANNUAL REPORT:
During fiscal year 2010/2011, a total of 1,290 inmates were booked into the Correctional Center. The most numerous of these bookings were for:
1. Battery (including domestic) 195
2. Narcotics (including equipment, paraphernalia) 172
3. Suspended/Revoked License 141
4. DUI 111
5. Theft 68
TOTAL (53% of all bookings) 687
The average daily population during FY 2010/11 was 36 inmates. The Correctional Center has a housing capacity of 55 inmates. That doesn’t include isolation or padded cells, which are counted as “specialized housing.”
A very important series of actions were taken in meeting our responsibility to identify and correct deficiencies relating to the safe operation of the facility. Some of the results:
The Correctional Center was able to add one new corrections officer in FY2010/11. This brought the current staffing level to seven full-time officers. This was a significant event in increasing officer safety and service.
MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING:
This very important program provides officers with additional tools in dealing with any inmates identified as having mental health issues. It was developed with material provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections and has built among the staff an increased level of understanding and confidence in dealing with these situations.
A painting program was instituted throughout the Correctional Center in FY 2010/11 to refurbish the facility as needed. This included common ways throughout the Center as well as individual cell blocks and dorms.
The garage flooring had suffered from extensive cracking as a result of both age and the elements. This caused water seepage into basement offices. Repairs were successfully completed in March, 2011.
Plumbing in the Correctional Center was also in poor condition. With funding from the County Board, a much needed overhaul of the waste lines was conducted in the second half of 2011.
Sentenced inmates are now utilized as trustees to perform many tasks in the Correctional Center including painting, cleaning, maintenance, washing clothes, and washing patrol cars. The program reduced the burden to the County in terms of cost and manpower.
Fingerprint services were not previously charged for by the Correctional Center. Inquiry among surrounding law enforcement agencies determined that they were charging for this service. As a result of this disparity the Correctional Center received an inordinately high number of requests for this service, especially from individuals who did not reside in Christian County. This increased demand caused additional work for our Correctional Officers as well as increasing wear on the facilities equipment. To offset these costs the Correctional Center began to charge a modest fee. As a result of this change, FY 2010/11 generated $1,825 in revenue.
The Correctional Center also oversees the Inmate Work Release Program. During this year, there were eight inmates authorized for work release as part of their sentences. Part of the Work Release Program requires inmates to pay restitution to the Correctional Center for room and board. This resulted in a total of $4,657 being deposited with the Christian County Treasurer’s Office.
In January 2011, we instituted a policy of investigating and holding inmates accountable for damage they caused while being held in the Correctional Center. In three of these cases felony charges for “Criminal Damage to Government Supported Property” were filed with the Christian County State’s Attorney’s Office. The Center also began to actively enforce monetary fines for damaging issued property.
The Correctional Center is now linked directly to the GovPay system. This increases the opportunity for those arrested to post bond via an external wire transfer system.
In addition to these favorable improvements, we want to acknowledge that we continue to maintain a forward looking position. Advanced planning, coupled with a long range outlook, will allow us to better prepare for any situations that may arise.
Staffing levels continue to be a cause for concern. As a result, we will look to explore new avenues that will allow us to utilize our officers in a more safe and efficient manner while still providing the same high degree of service that has come to be expected.
With an extremely high recidivism rate, coupled with the lasting effects of substance abuse, the Correctional Center continues to experience a major issue in providing inmate health care. The financial costs associated with doctor visits, testing, pharmaceuticals and other factors continue to rise. We will continue our efforts to explore the fiscal practicality of securing a health care provider for the Correctional Center.
FACILITY CONDITIONS FOR FISCAL 2011/2012:
We have continued the repainting program that began last year. Already in FY 2011/12 we have repainted several cell blocks. Its long term success is based upon the availability of sentenced inmates who can be utilized as trustees.
The plumbing situation continues to be a matter of significant fiscal concern. The age of the facility, coupled with the harsh daily usage, produces a situation which is likely to require increased funding from the County Board in the future.
Roofing was approved for and funded during FY 2010/2011. But other demands caused the funding to be diverted to other projects. While this is not an immediate concern, its condition will have to be monitored closely to determine if it worsens. At such time, this project will have to be resubmitted to the County Board.
In FY 2011/2012, we will continue to explore new ways to continue providing inmate necessities such as clothing, bedding, mattresses, etc. in the most fiscally responsible way.
My From the Sheriff’s Desk articles will be keeping you posted on developments which the Annual Report covered. These are important areas of the Christian County Sheriff’s responsibilities.
Department Activity for the last 5 months: