By Leeann Akers - Editor
May 8, 2013 — A review of the most recent jail inspection shows that although the Carter County Detention Center is putting the county at risk of litigation, the blame is, at least in part, on the shoulders of the Fiscal Court.
The Department of Corrections spring inspection report listed 14 issues of non-compliance at the Carter County Detention Center, half of which are due to inaction on the part of the Court.
An updated manual was presented to the court during the October 2012 meeting, but has not yet been approved by the Fiscal Court.
In a letter dated May 1, Judge executive Charles Wallace told County Attorney Patrick Flannery that “no policy and procedure manual that meets the criteria of the Fiscal Court has ever been presented...”
An action plan submitted to the DOC Feb. 25, was rejected because “Operating without an approved Policy and Procedure Manual may put the County at a serious disadvantage if litigation is brought against the jail.”
In a letter explaining that the plan of corrective action was rejected, Division of Local Facilities Director Jeff Burton gave CCDC and the Fiscal Court 15 days to submit a written explanation as to why a new or updated version of the policy and procedural manual had not been approved by the fiscal court.
The February 11 inspection showed the 144 bed facility housed 178 people at the time of the inspection, including 97 county, 57 federal and 24 state inmates.
Seven instances of non-compliance were due to not having a current policy and procedure manual.
Also cited were:
Window glazing cracked on one of the dorms.
Two cells exceeding their rated capacity, which was attributed by DOC to proper classification.
One dorm and one day room exceeding their rated capacity, which was attributed by the jailer to proper classification.
Suicide watch forms indicated that checks on prisoners deemed “suicidal” were not being properly conducted every 20 minutes.
An alternative recreation was not provided to inmates during bad weather.
According to a response to the DOC inspection submitted by Jailer R.W. Boggs Feb. 25, all of the issues will be addressed and corrected.