Guidelines

I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.








Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Walton County Terminates Escambia County Inmate Housing Agreement


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.”

As has been discussed several times including quite recently—will this unfortunate turn of events be the mother of invention that necessitates that we look seriously at a tent city to temporarily house our inmates?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you secure a tent city? What are your plans?

Anonymous said...

Security concerns! Officer Safety! I believe there are too many negative variables to facilitate a tent city at this time or even in the next 30 days!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comments.

Jeff Bergosh said...

A Tent City to temporarily accomodate this influx or any sudden overflow of prisoners can be done safely in my opinion. It is also perfectly legal to do. If we have the will to do it, I believe it is an option that can work and that should be on the table--This is why I brought the idea to the BCC and have been talking about it since February. It has been done other places safely and successfully, so why not here in Escambia County?

Anonymous said...

no

Anonymous said...

I don't believe a tent city complies with florida model jail standards that all jails in florida most comply with

Anonymous said...

I realize this is going to be a complex expensive ongoing issue with the Board and appreciate the hard work and thought you all must have to contend with. I appreciate you being forth right with these issues and also for running this blog and to let us have a way to get a word to you publicly. I think you are going to run into groups of people defending the inmates like they are American Treasures, while I disagree with that and think they should express land death row inmates etc that is not the immediate issue at hand. Could a simple solution be to reevaluate the original plans for the jail? (which by the way I am flabbergasted by how much is being considered to be spent on and that the Board would put us into so much debt) Can you quickly build a block facility that does the job at a very reasonable expense, let that be the PERMANENT building and stay within the means of the FEMA and insurance funds. Go back to the drawing board maybe this is God's way of answering your prayer by showing you the fallacy of the original plans. Sometimes She has to hit us upside the head with a frying pan so to speak--would you agree?

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous 12:04--See Florida Model Jail Standards effective 1/1/2017, pp. 71-72 of 90, section 17.8 Reduced Custody Housing Area. Tent City is legal.....

Anonymous 2:41--Thank you for the reasoned, well-written and well thought out post. I agree and I am astonished at what we are looking at spending. I'm not convinced I will be able to support this massive expenditure.....see my post from this past March... http://jeffbergoshblog.blogspot.com/2017/03/whyrebuild-jail.html

Anonymous said...

From A2:41 Thank you for referring me to the March Post about the jail. I believe I will start to visit your blog often. I didn't understand the insurance money was spent and I also see that you also ask many questions yourself. You are in a position of much authority with many decisions placed upon you and the board. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this page. One Day at a time, may wisdom and grace lead you forward.

Anonymous said...

There are portable housing units that can be purchased (turnkey) that would allow Escambia to bring all their inmates back that could be put on the recently purchased McDonalds property and utilized in conjuction with castle grey skull until the county can find a large amount of property to build an entire jail with probation, the sheriffs office, etc. all in one place like a campus style.

Unknown said...

Per the Florida Model Jail Standards, this is correct but it does say "temporarily" so what estimated time frame are we talking about until a new facility has been received by the county with a COO? These individuals that will be selected to stay in the temp living facilities by the Sheriff or someone approved.....what criteria will the county use to distinguish these from the rest of the prison population?