Sheriff's officials say changes already being made at jail - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Sheriff's officials say changes already being made at Marathon Co. Jail


A Marathon County jail task force is wrapping up its work. Members told Newsline 9 they've found many problems at the jail, but they have ideas to make it a safer place.

The group started meeting last month after a jail attack injured two corrections officers.

Members of the task force said the entire experience has been eye-opening, but they're confident that after weeks of research and interviews, they've met their goals.

"We're not going to make any recommendations that can't work," said task force member Paul Jones.

The task force is made up of community members and Chief Deputy Sheriff Chad Billeb.

"We need to know where the power lies and where the organization changes can be moved," said Jones.

One big topic: accountability. Dean Dietrich, an attorney in Wausau, met with members Wednesday. He said the sheriff has ultimate power over how the jail is run and if standards aren't met, it's up to voters to make a change.

"The accountability factor really goes to the ballot box," said Dietrich.

"This change in administration here will be most of what we need to get the job done," said Jones.

Members have compiled a long list of issues to be addressed by newly appointed Marathon County Sheriff Scott Parks.

"Better communications within the system is going to lead to better function," said Jones.

Deputy Chief Billeb said some problems at the jail have already been addressed.

"We've worked with different vendors to come in and do some work with our intercom system. That's getting upgraded. We've added additional cameras throughout the facility," Billeb said.

He added that all recommendations will be taken seriously. The group plans to meet for the final time next week and then submit their ideas to the Marathon County Sheriff.

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