The Logan County Sheriff’s Office has been officially moved into the new jail for six weeks.
Sheriff Jason Massey said that things have been going well and the transition has, for the most part, been smooth.
“Transporting the inmates from the old location here went very smooth. The biggest issue that we have faced so far is not realizing how long it would take to get from one location to another.”
Massey said that during the jail tours, it didn’t take as long to get from one area in the jail to another area when all the doors were open. Once the jail opened and all the doors became locked, he realized it takes longer to get from one area to another area.
Thirty-one inmates that were being detained at the facility on Grober Street were transferred to the new 100-bed facility. At the current time, Massey said they have inmate numbers in the ’50s, and although they have room to go much higher in numbers, they currently do not have the adequate amount of detention officers to accommodate more inmates.
“I am going back to Quorum Court to address the need for at least two more detention officers.”
Sheriff Massey said that even with the current number of detention officers on staff, the contraband issue has cut down since moving into the new facility and the behavior of the inmates has been better.
“The inmates have been on better behavior than they were at the old facility. They have more room to walk around and talk with each other; they have t.v. for news and the open recreation area which has helped out on disciplinary with the inmates.”
The new facility also has reduced inmate/detention officer contact due to the new jail having a different layout with more cameras and intercoms.
“We also use video visitation, so visits are done directly from the cell, so the detention officers do not have to take inmates to a visitation area now.”
Sheriff Massey said that one of the most efficient features of the new facility is the booking area that the old detention center did not have.
“When we bring in someone to book, we can hold them in one of the booking cells for 24-hours which allows them to adjust to the jail environment, but also if they have someone to bond them out they are not already in the cells with other inmates.”
Even though court sessions have just started taking place at the new facility this week, the facility’s courtroom was used for a plea agreement in a murder/arson case and a civil matter case in June.
“Judge Jerry Don Ramey and some of the other circuit judges will start holding court here this week. We are getting together and going over how we will do things in the courtroom with the bailiffs.”
Massey said that there are small changes that he would like to make to ensure more efficiency.
“We are looking at adding a speaker system inside the courtroom and in the lobby which would allow the judge can call a name instead of having a bailiff go into the lobby to get the next person.”
Massey said that in the future, he would like to get the inmates more involved in the community, but it takes the right type of inmates and enough jail personnel to oversee those programs.
“We have done programs like that in the past, but it has not always gone so well. But in the future, if we have folk here on misdemeanors, we would like to get them involved in road clean-up, tree planting and other projects outside of the jail.”
Massey is also looking meeting with the Ministry Alliance this month to discuss how to expand church services to the jail and to add substance abuse programs for the inmates.