Department of Corrections
The Department of Corrections is responsible for detention services and manages the care, custody and control of inmates incarcerated at the county jail which is known as the John E. Polk Correctional Facility. The mission of the Department is to maintain a secure facility that ensures the safety of the public, provides a safe working climate for employees, and offers humane and safe living conditions for inmates. One of the statutorily mandated responsibilities of the Sheriff is to serve as the chief correctional officer of the county.
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The John E. Polk Correctional Facility is an adult detention facility housing pre-trial felony and misdemeanor inmates, sentenced misdemeanor inmates, convicted felony inmates awaiting transfer to state correctional facilities and federal inmates awaiting trial in U.S. courts. The facility has a design capacity of 1396 inmates and typically books more than 16,000 inmates per year.
The Department is divided into four divisions:
- Operations Services, which includes facility security, food services, work release and lobby security;
- Intake and Release, which is responsible for booking and classification, as well as breath testing, inmate records, and intake training;
- Support Services, which is responsible for inmate farming, warehouse operations, transportation, inmate programs, accreditation, facilities, and GPS monitoring; and
- Inmate Health Care, which provides medical screening and treatment, and mental health programs.
A variety of health, educational and faith-based programs are offered to the inmate population. The programs are designed to improve practical skills and enhance character development and ultimately reduce recidivism rates. The programs offered range from basic computer skills to substance abuse courses to General Education Development (GED) and Adult Basic Education (ABE)classes.
Medical Services offers the delivery of comprehensive medical services to inmates. Inmates requiring specialized medical care, emergency services, or hospitalization are sent to area medical specialists or hospitals. The on-site jail medical staff is comprised of a physician who serves as the medical director, registered and licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants and licensed mental health professionals. A board certified psychiatrist conducts abi-weekly clinic.
Inmates requiring specialized medical care, emergency services, or hospitalization are sent to area medical specialists or hospitals. Contracted providers include psychiatrists, dentists, dental assistants, a consulting pharmacist, an OB/GYN specialist, x-ray/ultrasound services, laboratory services, dialysis services, and mental health and substance abuse specialists.
The Inmate Work Release Program allows sentenced, non-violent inmates to obtain or maintain employment to enable them to provide for themselves, their families and to pay off debts incurred due to incarceration. Inmates are chosen based on criteria established through Administrative Order. To participate, they must not have been convicted of a violent offense or have been convicted of more than one non-violent felony within the past three years before the date of the offense for which the offender has been sentenced.
The facility operates a hydroponic garden that produces a variety of vegetables, which are prepared for meals served to both staff and inmates. Hydroponics is the growth of plant material in a water and fertilizer solution with no soil. The program was established to provide female inmates the opportunity to learn skills in horticulture. When operations began in 1996, it was the only one of its kind in the nation.