301 W. Franklin Street
Taylorville, IL 62568
CALL 911 FOR EMERGENCY
CHRISTIAN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
CORRECTIONAL CENTER * 9-1-1 CENTER
301 W. FRANKLIN STREET P. O. BOX 678 • TAYLORVILLE, IL 62568
BRUCE KETTELKAMP PHONE (217) 824-4961 (C) 217-820-0758
CHIEF DEPUTY FAX (217) 824-4963 SHERIFF’S OFFICE
BRUCE ENGELING FAX (217) 824-7890 9-1-1/COMMUNICATIONS
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COMMITMENT * INTEGRITY * SERVICE _____________________________________________________________________________________________
FROM THE SHERIFF’S DESK VOL 3, NR. 8
By Sheriff Bruce
AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE CHRISTIAN COUNTY JAIL
Most people have a fairly good idea what being a deputy involves and what their duties are. But few have an understanding of what actually takes place in a jail, the duties of correction officers that work there, and how we go about maintaining the facility.
The jail holds inmates that are either waiting for trial, sentencing or have been sentenced to jail. Charges can vary widely. Some of the cases we held inmates for in the month of July were murder, attempted murder, reckless homicide, mob action, meth precursors, meth manufacturing, production of cannabis, domestic battery, aggravated battery, battery, aggravated driving under the influence, driving under the influence, burglary, theft, retail theft, false report, resisting a peace officer, criminal damage, illegal consumption, threatening a public official and solicitation. We also contract with the Federal Government to hold Federal Inmates. We currently house ten. Some of those inmates have since been transported by our correctional officers to the Department of Corrections.
The duties of a corrections officer in a jail vary widely and they must wear many hats. Their daily duties are: Protect the community, the public and the inmate population by maintaining the custody, security, and treatment of prisoners in our correctional facility. Build and maintain rapport with inmates using verbal and listening skills to determine potential inmate problems, such as suicide risk, intoxication, drug usage, assaultive behavior, etc. Perform head-counts to visually ensure the presence of all inmates. Book and fingerprint inmates brought into facility and bond/release inmates. Communicate with other counties (transporting, bond information. etc.). Take fingerprints of the public for jobs (police, teachers, bankers, etc.) Conduct inmate counts, 30-minute rounds, and 15-minute checks. Search inmates, by pat or strip method, to detect and confiscate contraband or unapproved items. Inform and explain institutional rules to inmates. Make sure their living area stays clean. Monitor visits between inmates and personal visitors. Move inmates to see doctors, nurses and clergy. Distribute meals. Distribute mail. Maintain inmate compliance making sure they are following all rules. Maintain inmate health making sure they maintain standards of hygiene. Distribute medications. Transport inmates to other facilities, court, etc. Maintain numerous logs (keys, razors, movement, visitor, phone calls, nurse/doctor visits). Provide information to inmates by answering questions and requests. Distribute and wash new inmate clothing, sheets, towels, and blankets. Distribute hygiene products to indigent inmates. Distribute incoming inmate mail and send outgoing mail.
Perform all these duties while having to tolerate verbal abuse and sometimes assaults. This month one officer was spit upon and had urine thrown on him. On occasion other physical altercations occur either between inmates or inmates having to be restrained by officers. The population numbers have been above 40 and many times above 50 since December. There are on most occasions only 2 correction officers working with backup that may be close by or on a call in another part of the county. The officers are always outnumbered.
Recently we received approval from the County Board to hire an additional corrections officer. In the past there were shifts where officers had to work alone. With the addition, we are hoping that will no longer be the case. We also changed record management systems. This makes our day-to-day operations more efficient.
The building itself and needed supplies have to be maintained. We try doing this by creating our own income instead of passing it on to the taxpayer. The services we provide also make life in jail for the inmate more tolerable. We have made it easier for family and friends to put money on the inmate accounts by installing a kiosk and an online option. We sell commissary to inmates including snacks, paper, underwear, socks, hygiene products, and various other things. In March we switched commissary providers increasing our profit from 5% to 25% on sales. Since March we have made over $3,000 in commissary profits.
We sell phone-minutes to inmates. They can call from their cells on a shared phone in their cellblock. We have worked with Consolidated in March so inmates could buy minutes using the phone pin number. The money comes directly out of their inmate accounts. We currently make over $2000 a month from phone minutes. The Federal Prisoners we house are on a contract. The jail makes $60 a day for every one of them we house. We use these income streams to maintain our Jail. We have repaired and replaced air conditioning, repaired heating, repaired plumbing, bought inmate uniforms, mats, blankets, towels, office supplies, and cleaning supplies. We have purchased a new booking desk.
So, as you can see, we have made improvements in staffing. We have made improvements in revenue. And we have made improvements in day-to-day operations.
What is needed in the future is a new jail. The facility was built in the 1970’s with a maximum of 30 inmates. It had a gym and a library. The jail now houses over 40 on a regular basis. Every available space has been converted to housing and storage. There is no more gym or library. We now have 55 beds. There have been many occasions where inmates have had to use mats on the floor. Currently, because females have to be kept separate, some of them have to be bunked on the floor. The plumbing breaks down often. The roof leaks. The design has blind spots. We have used every inch of storage space. We had a study done by the National Institute of Corrections. They recommended a new facility and gave us a plan to help reach this goal. We are in the process of forming a committee to discuss, plan, and work toward this goal.
I hope this letter has given you a better understanding of our jail. The corrections facility is an important part of the Sheriff’s Office. We have made improvements and hope to continue to improve. I welcome any interest from the public in helping us accomplish this goal.
Department Activity for the last 5 months: