Arguably the most difficult job at the Sheriff’s Office is in the field of Corrections. One of the promises I made when I was initially running for office in 2012 was to reinstate the county jail to a full time operation. A promise made was a promise kept!
This took a herculean effort on behalf of the staff to prepare the facility, as well as to hire and train new staff. What many people do not realize is that Corrections Officers are law enforcement within the walls of a jail. They are responsible for the care of inmates who are either waiting to be tried or are serving sentences. They are responsible for maintaining order, ensuring medical services are provided, feeding inmates three times a day, and ensuring attorneys and family members have proper access to their incarcerated person. Other staff members within the jail assist the CO’s with their jobs - such as food service preparation, maintenance and clerical. We also rely upon an
independent body known as the “Board of Visitors”. A Board of Visitors never existed at the jail until the Sheriff found local volunteers to serve as a separate set of eyes to help identify needs at the jail. Statutorily, a Board of Visitors ordinarily only looks at a jail’s mental health services, however the Sheriff expanded that to include all services in the jail. With their help we will strive to identify and remedy any deficiencies, seek financial resources to include grants, to assist with the remedies and always mindful of staying within budget.
We may have the smallest jail in the state but we provide excellent services. The programs and services offered to the inmate population are exemplary, leading the way throughout the state to help reduce recidivism. Some of the services we provide are; medical, pre-trial, education, DHHS Intensive Case Managers and mental health services. Programs include self-help groups and individual counselling sessions designed around evidence based curriculums. Religious services, AA groups, Bible studies, yoga and the MAT program have been added, and on occasion, musical entertainment is provided.
Our Corrections Officers wear many hats in order to accomplish the mission. Teamwork and cooperation are the name of the game at a smaller county facility like ours. Each week typically sees our Transport Corporal on the road between various facilities in the state - picking up and dropping off inmates that need to appear in Franklin courts or who have been sentenced by them.
Our Corrections Officers and Sergeants maintain order, serve meals, assist with court, and maintain custody and a multitude of other duties that keep the wheels of justice turning. Kitchen staff plan and prepare meals (mostly from scratch) to provide nourishing meals to the inmate population in accordance with state mandates. The County contracts with medical staff to provide inmates with all necessary medical care, as well as to administer medications.