|Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson sent the Escambia BCC a letter today terminating our|
prisoner housing agreement....
Could this make a tent city even more likely in Escambia, even sooner than anyone thought?
With a very generic, one-page letter delivered to commissioners late this afternoon with no forewarning, Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson has given Escambia County 30 days’ notice that our inmates will no longer be housed Walton County, in his jail, After July 1st. The letter points to a meeting of the Escambia BCC on May 25th where jail capacity and other issues were presented to the BCC by staff. According to the letter, Sheriff Adkinson took issue with much of the data presented at that meeting; this appears to be the impetus for this sudden termination of the agreement.
This is devastatingly terrible news for Escambia County, as we currently have nearly 300 inmates in Walton County—at a cost per inmate per day of $53.00-- which is much less than we have been able to pay housing our own inmates here. But worse than this-- we don’t currently have space available to accept this massive influx, and the board nixed double bunking and eschewed the idea of taking back a facility we lease back to the state to house juveniles. Berrydale is out as an option as is the cramming of these inmates into our existing jail. So options to house our inmates are running low. One thing is for sure, though: we are going to be getting all of our prisoners back in the next 30 days….. From the letter:
“It had been our hope to partner with you to provide a level of overflow capacity and advanced programs for inmates that could reduce overall costs. Unfortunately, I believe that exploration of this opportunity is no longer viable, nor is it in the best interest of Walton County…On May 25th 2017 we were taken aback by the presentation to the [Escambia] Board. That presentation’s veracity is central to my concern that the [Escambia] Board is not fully aware of operational issues at the jail and represents a deliberate indifference. feel I have no other option than to exercise our right to terminate our agreement.”