Older Articles from our Sheriff
Update On Jail Classes With Recovery Coach
This week we hosted our 5th training class for inmates on Wednesday and the classroom was full. We started up the inmate’s classes again this year with the help of recovery coach, Pam Jones. Each week inmates have been given the opportunity to attend the class which covers topics of overcoming drug addiction, resources available to people who are in recovery and who want to take that step to start recovery. This week’s class featured a speaker from the career center talking to inmates about programs that can be available to help find employment, obtain their GED and more. As I have stated before, our goal is to not see them back here again. Deputies must seek out the law violators but that doesn’t mean they dislike the person they must arrest or pursue. We want people to make better choices, improve their life and not make the same mistakes again. Sadly, many of these people we do see again and its often because they see themselves as beyond repair. But that is never the case and we want to help them see that and help give them the tools and resources they need to make those life changes if they have the desire to do so. We are excited about this program and hope to continue to add to the type of classes we can offer and in doing so, make a difference in someone’s life.
Update on County Jail Housing Contracts
With the exception of a few inmates (up to 10), Thursday will be the last day for Springfield inmates in the Vernon County Jail. The contract which started in 2016, has brought revenue into Vernon County but a new contract has been negotiated that will provide even more revenue for the county while reducing the workload on Detention officers in the jail.
Currently, the jail provides video court services, personal property storage for inmates in custody and daily transportation to Springfield in order to return inmates that are being released back to Springfield. After lengthy negotiating with Kansas City, the Sheriff’s Office has entered into a contract that will not only pay more, but states that inmates being released will be transported back to Kansas City before their release date and released in Kansas City. The Vernon County Jail will not be providing video arraignment services for Kansas City and we will not be holding any property for inmates in custody. The largest part of the negotiation was making sure that inmates would not be released in Vernon County, and with the video visitation system the jail now has the ability for family from other cities to visit with their loved ones remotely from their computer or smartphone on a monitored video session.
Our first priority will always be to protect our community, and the revenue from the jail will help provide the budget to keep vehicles replaced, equipment in the jail and on the road updated and to provide quality training for deputies, jail staff, and dispatchers. Under the contract agreement, Kansas City will only be sending people charged with city charges (not felony). This can range from trespassing and loitering to unpaid traffic fines and petty theft charges. Any felony charges in Kansas City would still be the responsibility of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. During the month of October, the jail has averaged approximately 40 Vernon County inmates, 12 inmates from the State of Missouri, and 40 inmates from Springfield. We are estimating approximately 1.5 million in revenue from outside housing in 2020, while making the workload on the jail a little bit lighter!