Plan "B" Part 2

So in just a few months, the Loudon County Corrections Partnership Committee has gone from a 47 million dollar justice complex needed to address the over crowding problems at the Justice Center to a 10 million dollar addition. I'll have to admit, their going in the right direction but maybe they can go a little further. Some recent changes have taken place and some strategic moves could do more to alleviate over crowding than a 10 million dollar addition.

Possibly the easiest and fastest move that could help would be to eliminate state inmates in the county jail. The end of July Tennessee Department Of Corrections jail report showed that our jail housed 14 state inmates convicted of felony's. These inmates can be removed from our jail if they're causing crowding problems. The same TDOC report showed that our jail was 16 inmates over the 91 bed capacity. So if the 14 state inmates were gone we would be just 2 over capacity.

Two recent developments could also have a big impact. For as long as most can remember, Loudon County had only 1 bail bonding company and the requirements to get bail were sometimes very stringent making it difficult for some to make bail therefore having to stay in jail till their court date. In recent months two new bail bonding companies have been allowed to begin operating in Loudon County. According to recent media reports, the new bail bond competition has now made it easier for some to make bail. The July TDOC report showed that there were 24 misdemeanor and 41 felony inmates waiting in jail for their court date.

One of the biggest changes that could effect inmate population is the establishment of a second, full time general sessions judge position. Last month, the commission, at the request of General Sessions Judge Rex Dale, created the new court based on the one judge being over worked. Wouldn't it stand to reason that if there are now 2 full time judges, twice as many cases could be disposed of ?

Before we start spending millions of dollars the county doesn't have, doesn't it make since that we explore every option available to solve the problem before we ask the tax payers to ante up more of their hard earned money? I think so.