The three ladies on the commission Jamie Daly, Karen Miller and Tona Monroe are looking out for the taxpayers and the best interests of everyone in the community. All three spoke against jail expansion at the Blount County Correction Partnership (BCCP) meeting Thursday and against housing federal inmates in the local jail.
Housing federal prisoners has been a financial drain to the taxpayers of Blount County for many years. The jail study, which the political machine tried to bury after spending over $94,000 of taxpayer money, said that the only way the Sheriff could claim to make money on housing federal inmates is to overcrowd and understaff the jail. This creates a dangerous situation for everyone: the officers in the jail, the inmates and the taxpayers.
It may also be creating an unconstitutional jail. The jail study says our jail is bordering on unconstitutional. Deliberately housing discretionary inmates in an overcrowded facility, sounds willfully indifferent to me. Whether a judge would see it that way, I don’t know.
Alarmingly, the Sheriff’s employees on the BCCP don’t seem to care. They continue to support the practice of housing federal inmates, to the determent of our wonderful community.
The officers working in the jail should pay close attention to this matter. The Sheriff has created a dangerous situation by crowding the jail with federal inmates and their supervisors (BCCP members Chief Deputy Jeff French and Captain John Adams) defend the practice of a crowded jail that is understaffed to “make money” housing federal prisoners. And why not? Both of these men are well paid while the corrections officers are not.
The sheriff makes $117,835. Jeff French makes $84,824. John Adams makes $63,278. Plus, have you seen the fancy cars that the Sheriff and his choice, top deputies drive around in? Corrections officers in the jail, those without rank, are making in the low to mid thirties.
While the sheriff has convinced some of his employees that the three women are against them, they aren’t the ones drawing big salaries and riding around in fancy cars. Furthermore, its the sheriff who unilaterally continues to overcrowd the jail with federal prisoners, putting more on the staff than they should handle all in the name of making money. It’s the three ladies who are speaking out and trying to stop this money losing, dangerous and possibly unconstitutional practice; thereby, looking out for the safety of the officers and protecting the taxpaying citizens.