Jail gets high marks

Sheriff Brent Lindgren reported to county commissioners at their Aug. 7 meeting that the county jail got very high marks during a recent biennial inspection.

Lindgren said the jail, inspected in late May and early June, was found to be 100 percent compliant on 105 essential inspection items.

It was also found to be 99.14 percent compliant on mandatory inspection items, resulting in an overall 99.57 compliance rating.

“There were a couple items of concern but, overall, the compliance rating of 99.57 was good,” he said.

Lindgren, sheriff since 2003, called the inspection “microscopic.”

Inspectors found, for example, that the kitchen staff had bought a new thermometer but forgotten to take the old one off the inventory list. And a new carrot peeler was not added to the list when purchased.

Another item noted, was that some masonry blocks in the shower areas appeared to be deteriorating because of moisture seeping into the blocks.

But Timothy Thompson from the Department of Corrections,  who wrote the report, commented that “the facility continues to operate at a high level of compliance with the rules. Staff and administration should be complimented on their ability to achieve these compliance levels, as some of the older levels of the facility can be challenging to monitor and operate.”

Thompson recommended there be an evaluation of the feasibility of providing kitchen staff with body alarms because they work closely with inmates and have no “real way to alert staff to potential issues.”

He also reviewed data on the 232 juveniles passing through the jail in 2011 and there were no violations found in the way those juveniles were held or processed.

Lindgren, who complimented jail administrator Mike Smith, assistant administrator Jerry Brown and other jail employees, was happy with the report.

“I’m pretty pleased,” he said. “All the folks in the jail work hard. We’ve been on a pretty consistent basis at around 98 percent.”

From 2003 through 2010 the overall rating for the jail was 99.325, a figure exceeded this year, Lindgren noted Monday in an interview.


Jail certified to

operate at 85 percent of capacity

The Department of Corrections also approved the jail to operate at 85 percent of capacity, or 124 inmates in a jail that has a capacity of 147.

“You always run under [capacity] because you might need extra beds to segregate people,” Lindgren said.

Examples, he said, are that you might have people from rival gangs in jail at the same time, or there might be the need to separate two people, one who has an order for protection.

Lindgren also said there could be a large number of arrests on a weekend and more beds than usual would be needed.