By Leeann Akers - Managing Editor
May 30, 2012 — A Chief Deputy with the US Marshal Service has confirmed that a regional jail authority agreement between Boyd and Carter counties would lead to all federal prisoners being withdrawn from Carter County Detention Center.
Tim Goode is the Chief Deputy with the Southern District of West Virginia. Goode told the Journal-Times that an alliance would mean an end to the fed contract.
“We have no contracts with regional jails in Kentucky,” Goode said. “Under a regional jail authority, I doubt that my district would put prisoners in Boyd County.”
The US Marshal Service has an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with CCDC to house federal prisoners. The contract can only be dissolved in three ways: The US Marshals decide to pull out inmates, the jailer requests it, or the jail ceases to exist. Goode explained that the creation of the regional jail authority would change the identity of who is running the jail, and the CCDC would cease to exist, if only in name.
“A jail is like a church,” Goode said. “It is not the building that makes the church, but the people inside. If a regional jail authority was in charge of the Carter County Jail, they would have to renegotiate the contract.”
Although Goode could not say whether negotiations could lead to a new federal contract with a regional jail, he did reiterate that there are no regional jails in the state with fed contracts.
At Tuesday’s Carter County Fiscal Court meeting, Judge Executive Charles Wallace claimed that Carter County had no federal contract. Wallace alleged that any contract that might exist had not been approved by the Fiscal Court.
Goode said that without a contract in place, his district would not place federal inmates in CCDC.
“It doesn’t make a difference who signed the contract, it is valid,” Goode said. “The only person who can tell me to remove federal prisoners from the Carter County Detention Center is the jailer of Carter County, or the Department of Corrections.”
Goode explained that the jailer of a county has constitutional authority over the jail, and even if a Fiscal Court were to vote to kick out federal prisoners, it would ultimately be up to the jailer. Without a federal contract, the jail would have to eventually cut back its staff.
“Ever since R.W. Boggs took office, we have enjoyed a great relationship with CCDC,” Goode said. “The jailer and the staff down there are outstanding and we couldn’t be happier.”
Leeann Akers can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 474-5101.