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Friday, July 06, 2018

Corrections Partnership meet
Members of the Cocke County Corrections Partnership meeting Thursday evening heard from a jail inspector who told them the county faces liability if it does not address it's jail situation. "These are not new problems. I can't tell you how often the sheriff has told you these same things. I can't tell you how often my reports have said the same thing," said Robert Kane of the Tennessee Corrections Institute. "There are major problems, you have pressing problems. The building that the sheriff operates is the county commission's responsibility. What are you going to do to fix your problems?" Although there had been a suggestion that the committee be disbanded, Kane argued against such a move. He did suggest removal of committee members "who do not want to move forward." Sheriff Armando Fontes had told the committee that he must increase the salary of corrections officers, in an effort to curtail turnover and to fill the four current vacant positions. He also said he is trying to prevent contraband from coming into the jail through the third floor windows, wants to correct deficient lighting and is concerned about the leaking roof on the annex jail, all in addition to the jail overcrowding. With regard to the overcrowding, Fontes said self-contained POD cells could be placed outside of the jail annex for additional housing and to be used as inmate solitary confinement. Commissioner Terry Dawson suggested there may be a vacant warehouse in the community that could serve to house the PODS. Mayor Crystal Ottinger said there may be a vacancy in the CF Group warehouse on the West Highway 25/70 corridor. The group agreed to contact the Cocke County Partnership regarding available sites. Kane said no government in Tennessee is using such PODS but they may be feasible. Committee member Calvin Ball again raised the issue of ankle bracelets as an alternative to incarceration, but Chief Deputy Derrick Woods said every inmate who was given the option of wearing the GPS tracking device, violated the restrictions. Committee Chair Robert Green suggested the county obtain quotes on a new roof for the annex jail. Members were told a new roof could cost $200,000 to $300,000. In response, CLB Chair Clay Blazer questioned the expenditure of that money if the building will not be used as a jail long-term "That will cost us alot of money and it won't get us certification," he argued. The committee then went on record supporting the continuance of the corrections committee, approved the upgrading of lighting with the use of a state grant and matching money from the Litigation Fund, they agreed to a cost analysis of corrections officers salary in surrounding communities, and they approved efforts to obtain the estimated cost of a new roof on the jail.


Return to Today's News Stories - Front Page

Saturday, September 22, 2018

  • Newport East Broadway Update
  • Cocke County Industrial Park
  • Medical issue may have led to Thursday crash

    Friday, September 21, 2018

  • Cocke County to be asked to fund grading for an industrial prospect
  • Justice receives 10 year prison term
  • Tennessee jobless rate remains low
  • Tennessee revenues are up

    Thursday, September 20, 2018

  • Paulin home burglary
  • Four vehicle crash
  • Boyd may be UT president
  • More opioid crisis funding

    Wednesday, September 19, 2018

  • Daniel approved for ballot
  • Tennessee average income is rising
  • Tennessee and opioids
  • Roe on Kavanaugh
  • Blake Shelton on Ole Red
  • Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP

    Tuesday, September 18, 2018

  • Cocke CLB
  • Cocke Circuit Court
  • Brett Kavanaugh
  •    

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