Metropolis, IL

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Annual detention center inspection shows improvements

Friday, June 09, 2017 - Updated: 8:51 AM
By Areia Hathcock
Planet General Manager
ahathcock@metropolisplanet.com

On Tuesday morning, during his visit with the Massac County Board of Commissioners, Massac County Sheriff Ted Holder presented a completed inspection of the detention center facilities by the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC). The report stated several improvements, but as has been uniform in previous years’ inspections, the DOC audit states the jail is understaffed according to Illinois statute.
Four improvements made to the detention center in the previous year include the installation of a new surveillance system with 26 high definition cameras reducing “blind spots” in the jail, an upgraded fire sprinkler system, a new booking program on the computer system and the purchase of five emergency fire evacuation hoods.
The letter accompanying the report from Mike Funk, manager of the Jail and Detention Standards Unit, expressed concerns over the amount of staff though. “Short staffing is a security issue and can be a serious liability to the county. Jail officers at the Massac County Jail have numerous duties to complete on each shift. County leaders should seriously consider requests for additional staff,” the letter stated.
In non-compliance with statute regarding the short staffing was routine personal cell checks not being completed every 30 minutes as mandated and having only one officer assigned to numerous shifts. The report recommends no less than two jail officers be assigned to each shift to ensure a backup is available.
Also during Holder’s visit, medical expenses for inmates were discussed for the fiscal year. The fiscal year expense budget for inmate medical is $25,000. The sheriff’s department has currently spent $19,500, which Holder says is primarily because of two inmates who have required a lot of medical attention and medicine.
The department is awaiting an $8000 reimbursement check from the state to cover some of those expenses.
Treasurer Dana Angelly presented a financial report for the general fund showing a balance of $1839.35 after a payroll was deducted on Tuesday. According to Angelly, the county is still awaiting the most recent sales tax payment from the state. “When we get that state money, we can get some bills paid,” she said. The county currently has bills in the over 90 days past due category for multiple vendors.
Angelly said Kemper CPA group is still conducting its audit of the 2016 fiscal year and should have that completed Friday.
In other business, the board:
Signed routine paperwork for General Assistance Administrator Lorie Walters.
Approved a letter to City National Bank authorizing Circuit Court Clerk Sandra Riepe to utilize online banking for that department.
And, signed routine pay requests for Leah Slayden, who sat in for County Highway Engineer Joe Matesevac.

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