Sheriff John H. Brown told the county commissioners yesterday that he needs nine additional deputies immediately to staff the work release program, the home detention program and inmate security at the Carroll County Detention Center.
NTC The sheriff, speaking at the scheduled quarterly meeting with the commissioners, said the jail population reached 112 yesterday, which actually exceeds the capacity of the 120-bed detention center.
He said that seven of the empty cells are in the women's section and not available for men.
Several other cells are in the isolation section and cannot be used by the general population, Mr. Brown added.
The sheriff said he wants more deputies to decrease the overtime accumulated by the present staff of correctional officers, who become "burned out" after pulling double shifts several days a week in some cases.
In addition, 24 more deputies will be needed when an 80-bed addition to the jail is built.
Bids for construction have not yet been sought, but the commissioners were asked to expedite the process so that work can begin before hard frosts set in.
But Robert A. "Max" Bair, the commissioners' administrative assistant, said advertising for bids likely would not come till later, with construction to begin in the spring.
Mr. Brown described the jail population as dangerous with fights and assaults on the increase as more crack and cocaine comes into the county.
He said that the state's recommended ratio is one correctional officer for every 15 inmates but that the ratio at the detention center is sometimes one for 25.
Mr. Brown said that more than $250,000 has been generated at the detention center, an increase of 57 percent over the previous year.
Much of this money, which was returned to the county, comes from fees charged to serve court summons, fees charged inmates on work release programs -- $10 a day --and per diem fees -- $154,465 -- received from the state, he said.
Other income comes from the commissary ($14,410) and the pay phone ($6,012) and more than $10,748 collected for inmate medical expenses.
While the jail can never be self-sustaining, the sheriff said he could generate more than $4,000 a day by housing federal prisoners in the planned addition.
That would decrease, as inmates awaiting trial or serving sentences imposed in Carroll County begin using the cells, he said.