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Judge: Staff and tech work well at the jail

May 31, 2012

Judge John H. Foradora

BROOKVILLE — During Tuesday’s Jefferson County Jail Board meeting, Judge John H. Foradora complimented the Jefferson County jail Warden Tom Elbel and the jail staff on several prosecutions that recently went to trial.

“They did a fine job with testimony, and the video system and phone system has all worked to a T to bring offenders to justice,” Foradora said. “And hopefully, that will make the jail a more secure place.”

Recent cases involved inmates smuggling drugs into the jail internally, and the jail’s video equipment was a benefit to the prosecution.

The cameras showed one inmate passing drugs to another, Elbel said.
“The cameras work very well,” Foradora said.

Elbel said any inmate who enters the facility is locked in an isolation cell for 72 hours. Cameras are located directly outside the cell.

“Hopefully, if they have contraband internally, it’s used up before they get into general population or found before then,” Elbel said. “We also use that as a medical monitor, in hopes that if someone comes in with the swine flu or the avian flu, we catch it before it goes back and infects 100 people.”

According to state law, Elbel said the jail staff are not permitted to check body cavities for drugs, which makes it difficult to catch smugglers.

However, drugs cannot be smuggled in by visitors because of the way the visiting booth is set up.

Currently, the jail is in the process of improving the visiting booth by changing its set-up, and visiting phone calls will now be recorded.

“Hopefully that will help with the prosecution on a lot of cases, too,” he said.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting of the Jefferson County Jail Board, the following jail population report for April was presented:

• Total Jefferson County — 108 inmates (82 male, 26 female).

• Total housed out-of-county — 11 inmates (Five male, six female).

• Total population — 119 inmates.

The county provided housing for six out-of-county inmates. The cost for housing out-of-county inmates is $55 per day.

In other business:
• The next meeting of the Jefferson County Jail Inspection/Intermediate Punishment Board will take place at noon Monday, June 25.

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