Lewis Co. Sheriff claims staffing requirements don’t work in all jails

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by TAYLOR VIYDO & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Updated Thursday, May 1 at 8:46 PM

LEWIS COUNTY, Idaho -- An Idaho Sheriff is speaking out about a story 2 on Your Side brought you about Idaho jails not passing inspections because of inadequate staffing numbers.

The Idaho Sheriff’s Association requires that jails have at least two deputies on the jail floor at all times.

MORE: Kootenai County looks at leasing private jail

The Sheriff in Lewis County said those rules do not work in some jail and they should not be subjected to the same requirements.

Lewis County Sheriff Briana Brokop said even though he does not meet the staff requirement, his jail is extremely safe and is one of the best in the region.

“A lot of the inmates actually request to be transferred here because they like our facility,” said Sheriff Brokop.

He said the jail’s smaller size allows for better care for inmates. However, the jail recently failed an inspection from the Idaho Sheriff’s Association because two staff members were not watching over the inmates at all times.

MORE: Shoshone Co. Jail fails annual inspection

That is not always the case at the Lewis County jail. Tight budgets have prevented Sheriff Brokop from hiring more deputies.

“It is frustrating. And with Lewis County, we’re a small county, the tax base is small. In my opinion, the standards should be different for our facility than for a facility like say Ada County,” said Sheriff Brokop.

The Lewis County Jail has just 12 inmates on average. Sheriff Brokop said that is a safe enough number when just one deputy is watching over inmates.

He is now bracing for the county’s insurance coverage to be cut in half. He said that could create a scary situation if the county were to lose a lawsuit against an inmate.

There are no plans to remodel or build the jail. The sheriff expects their insurance coverage to take a hit when the new fiscal year begins.
 

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