The Marathon County jail security panel has released its findings to help make the jail a safer place.
panel was created in April after authorities say an inmate, Fredrick
Morris, 20, attacked two corrections officers, one of them critically,
back in March. Since that attack, the panel made up of five community
members, have held several meetings.
Now, the final
report is out, but the findings are far from positive.
was an under performing operation," said jail panelist Paul Jones.
panel members say that's in the
past, and it's time for change.
were many good people in place in this organization, but they weren't
being allowed to function at the upper levels of their ability. Now,
they are," said Jones.
a news conference Monday, the panel released a series of
recommendations it says will move the jail in a better direction.
Some of those recommendations include updating old equipment and establishing new policies
for inmates and officers.
we have to realize is that its going to be a living document that we
take a look back at and then let the panel, and county leadership know we're
on track," Chief Deputy Chad Billeb said.
why panel members say their work isn't over.
feel better about where we stand now but lets face it, it was a bad
situation and we want to see it get better and we sense there's a
good commitment to do that," panelist Michael Beck said.
certain we're going to make progress," Billeb added.
fact, some progress has already been made at the jail. Authorities
say after the inmate attack every corrections officer was armed with a
taser. In addition, now many officers wear ear pieces to communicate
with other staff.
throwing a lot of change at them all at once because it needed to be
done, and it's going to continue to come until we have the proper
infrastructure in place," Billeb explained.
what's next? Marathon County Sheriff Scott Parks says now he will
review the report
start to take a look at the different recommendations and rank them
out and start to tackle them," Sheriff Parks said.
no timeline for when that might happen. But the sheriff says his
department will continue to work to make safety a top priority.
sheriff's department says it's rearranging its budget to put more
focus on these safety measures. But, the budget will not increase.
Last week the Human Resources Committee approved hiring two new
corrections officers. They're expected to start later this year.