Thursday, June 4, 2015

JAIL Assessment for Blount County

This is Freida for Truth Radio News wanting you to know that Mobil TV of Blount
County high school sports is coming to your mobil device this Fall for the
High School Football Game of the week and you are invited to call your school's
athletic director about getting your favorite game on Mobil TV from

On June 24, 2013Jim Hart, UT County Technical Assistance Service
Jail Management Consultant.  Mr. Hart presented a report concerning the
Blount County Jail Expansion Evaluation

"I provided some information based on the Tennessee Department of Corrections
monthly snapshot report and you see that on page 7.
The only thing to point out there, was that it appears that there's a significant
increase in the numbers of convicted misdemeanants in custody looking at the
2013, Your inmate housing areas were sitting at about 148% of capacity. 
When you see this, you see a facility that's operating in crisis management.
Were juggling inmates from moving people constantly to try to ensure the
safety of staff, ensure the safety of inmates, and as I mentioned your
unique classification system sort of goes away which then,
we start cracking open the door of potential litigation against the county
as we start talking about inmate injuries, assaults, that failure to protect issues.
Due to chronic conditions, there's insufficient showers, commodes, sinks,
floor space is taken up if you will.".

Blount County Adult Detention Facility is certified for 350 inmates.  In 2011 it's
average daily count was 455. in 2012 it was 505 and in 2013 the average daily
count was 507.

The first Key Recommendation in the Action Plan for the Blount County Jail
Assessment begins stating out of the 400 plus county assessments it has
done Blount County has 57 percent of the pretrial population was being held
without bond because they had a probation violation pending.   Hence, the Courts
employ probation violations to deny bonds to persons charged with a new offense
while on active probation is how the assessment reads on page 86.

According to the inmate profile analysis of the Jail's population on November
20, 2013 the jail had 524 inmates if which 150 were randomly selected for analysis.
The that sample 64 percent were Blount County residents or 335 of the 524.

The first recommendation on page 87 is to lower the jail population of "locals" to
100 via police citation of misdemeanants in lieu of custody, or speedier process,
and real classification.  Taking the local inmate population down to 100 would
release 235 of those 335 locals who are being held for probation violations without bail
or the INABILITY TO pay the financial obligations owed THE COURTS.  The assessment
recommends these inmates could be allowed to work off their financial obligations
to the system at a "Day Fine" rate, with the rate being close to what they would
make at their regular job, and not be charges to participate in the work program. 

The study concludes that the cost of mounting such a program as something that
would reduce both jail and probation caseloads and thus postpone the need for jail

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