By Leeann Akers - Managing Editor
June 30, 2012 — Jail consultant Joey Stanton and Jailer R.W. Boggs disagree on the creation of a regional jail, but they agree everything else.
The Carter County Fiscal Court held a special meeting Friday morning. After passing amendments to the 2011-12 budget, the Court and a full house audience was introduced to Stanton, who is currently employed by both Boyd and Carter counties.
“I’m not here today to try and change anyone’s mind,” Stanton said. “This has not been handled correctly. If the Court decides to call another meeting about the jail I think we need more advanced notice. But I can’t help what has happened in the past.”
Stanton spoke about his experience as the Grayson County jailer, as well as some of his accomplishments in that position and later as a consultant.
In Boyd County, Stanton said he has reduced the amount of general fund monies contributed to the jail by $900,000 since he was hired in 2011.
In Carter County, the jail issues begin in the Fiscal Courtroom.
“People in office 10 years ago didn’t build a big enough jail,” Stanton said. “But now, I want to challenge the Court and the Judge and the Jailer to stand up as men, let bygones be bygones, and work together.”
Stanton quoted several articles that had been published in The Independent and the JournalTimes during his presentation.
“When you only hear one side of the story, it makes you afraid,” Stanton said. “They scare you and tell you who is to blame for that fear. Now I am asking that you listen to the other side.”
“I think there needs to be a lot more research,” Stanton continued. “But I think Jailer R.W. Boggs needs to be on board.”
Stanton echoed an opinion that Boggs has expressed many times: something needs to be done to increase revenue within the next few years or the citizens will end up paying a jail tax.
Boggs and Stanton are in agreement about the Carter County Detention Center: it’s headed in the right direction. Only $533,000 of the $770,000 allocated for the jail has been spent this fiscal year.
After an hour, the crowd was restless. Mignon Colley and Clifford “Sodbuster” Roe both asked Stanton to produce some facts about the proposed regional jail.
Stanton produced an email from Ken Deal, with the United States Marshal Service, which stated that CCDC could currently begin renegotiations for a higher pay rate for Federal inmates. The email identifies Deal as the Acting Deputy Assistant Director of the Prisoner Operations Division in Washington D.C.
Stanton also said the Department of Transportation has set up a program with the DOC to utilize free inmate labor. Counties can apply for monies from the District office that will pay for that labor in that particular county. Stanton said it is designed to help the cost of the county jail by creating revenue stream, and it also creates a job.
The canteen fund is currently established at the jail. The jailer can take profits items sold to the inmates to use for the benefit and enhancing the well-being of prisoners, which can be used for recreational, vocational, and medical purposes. Stanton said profits can be given back to help pay for medical costs.
Stanton said those three ideas alone could bring in at least $300,000 in additional revenue each year.
Boggs briefly spoke and promised the Court that he would immediately apply for the rate increase. He learned later in the afternoon the freeze had been lifted.
“If we do get the increase, that’s our money,” Boggs said. “We don’t need to strap Boyd County to our backs. Joey Stanton was a great jailer and we can learn a lot from him, but a regional jail is not the answer right now.”
No action on the jail was taken at Friday’s meeting. The next meeting of the Carter County Fiscal Court is scheduled for July 17 at 10 a.m.