|After years of threats, the
Tennessee Corrections Institute finally
decertified the Loudon County jail for over crowding issues. What does
that mean? Likely nothing.
Currently there are several jails across the state that have been decertified, some for years. The most common possibilities associated to decertification is the possibility of higher insurance rates. However, after to speaking to other county's who's jails have been decertified, that doesn't seem to have happened.
The Tennessee Corrections Institute, TCI, is an organization created under state law that sets minimum standers for all jails in Tennessee. If TCI finds that a jail meets those standards the jail is certified. If a jail is found not to meet those standards the jail is decertified. Outside of that, certification or decertification has no particular relevance.
The last expansion of the jail was in 2004. Problems with over crowding began not long after that.
Below is the April monthly jail report. It's a one day snapshot of the jail population.
The report is as of the end of each month populations and fluctuates from month to month. The report lists TDOC felons, local felons, other felons, federal and other, convicted misdemeanors, pre trail felony and pre trail misdemeanors. It also gives current population, number of beds and how many inmates to beds available and how over or under the jail is for inmates to beds. Let's look at the last report for Loudon County.
Loudon County's bed capacity is listed as 91. In April we had 71 prisoners more than our 91 bed limit or 162 inmates. Let me reiterate, this is just one day in one month. There have been higher and lower months.
Of those 162 inmates, 43 are misdemeanor arrests waiting to go to trial, 74 are felony arrests waiting to go to trial, 23 are serving time for misdemeanor convections, 9 are convicted felons sentenced to serve their time in our jail and 12 are convicted felons housed in our jail for the Department Of Corrections, TDOC.
The three big numbers are 23 convicted felons which should be in state custody, 43 pretrial misdemeanors and 74 pretrial felonies. Appears if the state prisoners were gone and more pretrial inmates went to court, that would go a long way to alleviate over crowding problems. There's only 23 inmates actually serving time for convictions. Looks like the backlog in the courts accounts for a lot of the over crowding problems.
Certainly, the jail is overcrowded but based on what I hear from Loudon County tax payers, they have no desire to pay higher taxes to keep inmates more comfortable.
There's one sure way not to find yourself uncomfortable in jail. Don't do anything to get put in jail.