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admin | Category: Check A Phone Number Location | 10.08.2014
If the jail maintains the reduced population of 238 inmates compared to two years ago, it will save the county more than $3.8 million, based on a $44 daily cost to house each inmate. HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The Madison County Metro Jail has its lowest population in more than two years, and county officials think it could decline more with more investments in mobile monitoring devices. Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong credited the decline to a team effort including law enforcement, judges, district attorney's office and court clerks. In addition to the paid county judges, Madison County has two retired judges, Jim Smith and William Page, volunteering to reduce the circuit's caseload. Chief Steve Morrison, who became jail administrator in October 2012 when the population was a little more than 1,150 inmates, said county jails nationwide are seeing a decline in population. One way the jail can reduce the population more is to make it easier for eligible inmates to opt for home or mobile monitoring devices. A woman charged with prostitution in 2014 was in jail because she couldn't afford to pay a $250 bond, Morrison said, and she ended up needing $3,000 in medical attention.
Eligible inmates can participate in home monitoring but only if they pay for the devices themselves, he added. Strong said his office is looking for ways to reduce those costs for eligible inmates, and he repeatedly emphasized the mobile monitoring devices only are used with prisoners who are not a public threat. All three Madison County jail annexes are now closed and the new inmate tower is near capacity after officially opening just two months ago. HUNTSVILLE, AL -- All three Madison County jail annexes are now closed and the new inmate tower is near capacity after officially opening just two months ago.


Out of 1,050 inmates in the jail, 900 are housed in the tower and the main jail on Wheeler Avenue. To operate the new 1,220-bed jail, the Sheriff's Office employs 184 people, including support and operations staff, said Chief Deputy Chris Stephens. Rather than paying county detention officers overtime to test out the new lockup before inmates are allowed inside, Sheriff Blake Dorning has invited 300 clean-cut Boy Scouts to put the high-rise building through its paces. Rather than paying county detention officers overtime to test out the new lockup before inmates are allowed inside, Dorning has invited 300 clean-cut Boy Scouts to put the high-rise building through its paces. Dorning wants them to flush all the toilets at once, turn on the showers, use the jail-cell intercoms, and go into the building's many nooks and crannies to check for blind spots in the video surveillance system.
He said the Scouts will help law enforcement officials know if the jail is functioning properly before they throw the doors open to 900 inmates. John Hayden, who serves on the Boy Scouts' Greater Alabama Council board of directors, said the kids are thrilled about spending the night inside what will be one of Alabama's biggest lockups.
On May 6, the day before the Scouts arrive, Dorning will host a public open house at the Wheeler Avenue jail.
The sheriff said people deserve a chance to see what all those tax dollars paid for (the jail was $50 million over budget and three years behind schedule). The commission approved a one-year extension of the contract with CBM Food Services, which cut food costs in the jail by $300,000 in the last year.
View full sizeThe Madison County Commission last year decided to contract out the kitchen operations in the new jail, shown here under construction in 2009.


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The company that provides meals to county jail inmates received a contract extension from the Madison County Commission Monday after the firm cut food costs by $300,000. Commissioner Dale Strong said after the meeting that the company reduced jail food costs by $300,000 in the first 11 months of the contract that just ended.
Getting prisoners out of the metro jail not only saves taxpayers on costs to house them, it can save money spent providing healthcare, he said. Besides reducing the cost of housing inmates at the taxpayers expense, mobile monitoring devices allow incarcerated people to continue their employment, he said. The County Commission approved 66 new hires for the jail earlier this year, and 17 of them recently finished training and are now working.
Eventually, the county will close its Wheeler Avenue jail annex and downsize the 40-year-old courthouse lockup.
He said he was "kicking around ideas" with his wife recently when they came up with using Boy Scouts to test the new jail. Two years ago on the same day, there were 998 inmates, and last year there were 857 inmates. 1 figures will reflect the seasonal trend that crime lessons during the holidays, so fewer people are booked into jail than are being released.




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