Corrections officers offer feedback to make jail safer - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Corrections officers offer feedback to make jail safer


There are have been a lot of questions raised about what goes on inside the Marathon County Jail.

However, many county officials can agree on one thing: there are problems inside the jail.

"We were given firm instructions not to sugar coat anything," Marathon County Administrator Brad Karger said.

Marathon County officials say they're telling it like it is.

"Let's just let people know exactly where were at, the goal is to make sure we have the jail as safe as it can be," Karger explained.

Authorities say last month an inmate attacked two corrections officers. Julie Christensen, 36, was critically injured. Since then, multiple questions have been raised about jail safety. That's why this special task force was created.

"They are invested in finding out what's going on," Lt. Chad Billeb said.

On Tuesday members of the panel met for the first time. 

"We saw the inter workings of the jail, we did a round with some officers and watched how they enter cells and so forth," Lt. Billeb explained.

Many panel members say that experience was eye-opening.

"It's just the way that it is when you come into our jail, people are going through crisis and we heard some of that," Lt. Billeb said.

But, sheriff's leaders say the task force isn't the only attempt to make the jail a safer place. Since the attack, county officials have held weekly meetings with corrections officers seeking feedback.

"Corrections officers feel that they are being listened to and we are working as a team in order to make things better," Lt. Billeb said.

So far, sheriff's leaders say they've already implemented certain safety measures, including adding ear pieces to allow officers to hear private security messages.

"We recognize that we have issues and we are moving forward and addressing them," Karger said.

In the end, officers say it will take teamwork to make the jail as safe as it can be.

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