Tuesday, April 30, 2013

CMIT Guides Sheriff on Jail Operations

A sheriff badge in front of jail bars.

Newly elected Sheriffs throughout Texas were given a primer on how to effectively and efficiently operate county jails by the Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT).

“It is the biggest liability issue that exists in the county,” said Brent Phillips, who has worn many hats, including as Sheriff of Trinity County, jail administrator of Polk County, and a board member for the Texas Jail Association, an organization for correctional officers that work in local jails. “It produces no funding, and it is the biggest drain there is in the system.”

About 20 Sheriffs attended the four-day professional development and training, which covered the wide array of issues that comes with operating a county jail. In addition to providing a general overview of jail operations and standards, there were special sessions on leadership, legal issues, con games, in-custody death issues, population control, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), human resources issues, staff training, budgets and contracts. Among the Sheriffs who presented and support the programs were Chris Kirk, Kelly Rowe, Greg Hamilton, and Clint McRae.

Sheriffs from 20 counties across Texas were trained on jail operations at CMIT. Sheriffs from 20 counties across Texas were trained on jail operations at CMIT.There are 254 counties in Texas and all but 19 of them have county jail facilities, handling more than 63,500 inmates as of March 2013. A total of 16 counties have privatized their jails, but the County Sheriff still maintains oversight of the facilities. Among those who participated in the training were Sheriffs from Bandera, Chambers, Crosby, Dickens, Edwards, Franklin, Galveston, Garza, Hill, Hockley, Hutchinson, Jack, Kendall, Lamar, Marion, Mills, Nacogdoches, Shelby, Tom Green, and Van Zandt counties.

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