Southern Utah News Articles
Public Safety Facility remodel scheduled
Kane County Sheriff Tracy Glover said the $550,000 jail remodel will primarily address inmate housing for women. “We’ve been really full with state inmates, so we have had to rearrange the women’s section. Essentially, we’ve been housing women in the holding cells, and we have more women we need to accommodate.”
Currently, the Kane County Public Safety Building has 18 county and 160 state inmates, with the state population varying only slightly month to month. The State of Utah pays the county $52.00 per day per state inmate housed at the facility here. The county uses that revenue to defray its own jail/staff financial responsibilities.
“Generally financially, the jail has come out well,” said Glover. “We’ve been able to pay our bills and bond by balancing state inmate beds.”
There are 18 certified corrections officers and five control room staff. The Public Safety Building is set up in a pod system, with a control room above the inmate population. The control room staff monitors inmate behavior and activity, as well as incoming and out going phone conversations.
Meals are prepared in a commercial kitchen on site, with Trinity Services the contracted facilitator. “Much of the cooking is done by supervised inmates, who’ve earned the privilege to work in meal preparation and culinary cooking.”
“We have a contract for 166 beds,” explained Glover. He said state inmates are sent to Kane County based on criteria he and other law enforcement staff determine. That could include factors such as inmate mental health, offense committed, danger risk, and whether they are seeking specialized programming.
Glover said inmates who seek and complete a rigorous substance abuse training offered here, (highly-regarded in the state), get time off of their sentences. “We have 66 inmates currently in that program. That’s good for us since we get $11.00 extra if the inmates are in the treatment programs.”
He praised Randy Soderquist and his counseling staff that provide the different successful sex offender and substance abuse treatment programs operated at the facility. “They lead the treatment programs, with Ted Barnard as the program manager and Justin Orton as case manager.”
Glover said the remodel will not be adding any additional square footage, but rather a space reconfiguration to streamline operations and address different requirements. Additionally, the remodel will allow the facility to keep eight State contract beds. “In the cells the women are in now, they don’t have nearby phone access or proximity to the showers. Movement of the inmates is labor intensive, requiring jail personnel to leave one post to accompany the inmate to access these things.”
While utilizing state inmate revenue to help pay for county obligations seems like good common sense, the success or failure of a Public Safety Facility is often gaged by its rate of recidivism. (A tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior.) The hope is that incarcerated inmates get better, improve their behaviors and address their addictions while serving their time, so they can become productive, law abiding citizens when they’re released.
“We track our recidivism closely-right now we’re at 15%,” said Glover. “We’re proud of our rates. We feel we are making a difference.”