It will cost $3 million to fund the 72 new positions needed at the new county jail.
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners met with Sheriff Stan Evans and Major David Cochran Wednesday morning to go over the staff needs at the new jail, which is expected to be completed by the summer of 2009. The meeting was held as part of the budget process.
The BOC is trying to determine how much to allocate in next year’s budget for new staff. No action was taken on how much to budget. A decision will be made by the end of August.
Evans said some of the staff needs to be hired before the jail opens in order to be trained and to assist with the transition to the new facility. He added that it is difficult to fill positions.
“It’s a challenge to fine people to hire,” he said. “We are looking at 72 positions, in addition to what we already have, to be up and running. We have trouble hiring two or three.”
Among the positions to be filled are: Lieutenant assistant commander, jail sergeant, inmate service officer, classification officer, inmate booking officer, release officer, central control officer, infirmary officer, escort/response officer, inmate property officer, front lobby/release officer, maintenance technician, jail corporal, inmate supervision officer, tower control officer, direct supervision officer and inmate classification officer.
There are 130 employees on staff now at the county jail.
The new jail will be 125,909 square feet and will house 442 inmates. The current jail has capacity for 121 inmates. The county houses some of its inmates out of county and pays other counties a daily fee to do this.
“We will be about 50 percent full when we move in,” Evans said. “We will have around 220 inmates when we move in.”