North Platte Neb. (LINCOLN COUNTY SHERIFF)- On July 5th, 2012, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center recognized its one year anniversary. The first year presented Sheriff Jerome Kramer and his staff with many challenges. A major challenge was the entire Detention Staff was required to learn new positions and job duties; there is almost nothing done the same way in the new facility. The Sheriff and his employees are very thankful for the new building and are working hard to keep it running smoothly and looking new.
In our first year of being open the Lincoln County Detention Center has house an average of; 93 inmates per day, 74 males and 19 females and booked approximately 2030 people. We have served 100,635 meals out of our kitchen for an average of 283 per day. We have also allowed 7204 video inmate visits.
The Lincoln County Detention Center produced some extraordinary financial numbers; considerable revenue has been generated for the county. The new center has maintained an average of 10 inmates a day housed for outside jurisdictions and collected nearly $80,000 in fees this year. From June 2010 to June 2011 (while in the old facility) we paid around $157,000.00 to house our inmates in other jails; this is a $237,391.00 positive difference in one year. Approximately $43,000.00 in additional revenue has been taken in by the inmate phone system and commissary, thanks in large part to the technology in the new building.
With the new facility we have been able to implement new programs to assist the community and our inmates. We have partnered with Lutheran Family Services implementing an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) Drug and Alcohol Treatment for inmates. Fifty-seven inmates have participated in the program and logged well over 400 hours of session time. These inmates previously were sent to other areas of the state for this counseling service, at great expense to the county. Additionally, inmates with mental health issues are still being housed in our custody; medical staff is now able to see them inside the secure facility. In the old facility these same inmate would have to be housed in outside facilities and extra security would be added. Medical treatment for inmates outside of the facility has dropped from $26,000 in 2010 to 2011 time frame to $13,300.00. We believe this is due to added examination room and on staff nurse.
Countless hours have been put in through our Inmate Worker Program. The inmate workers are responsible for assisting in meal preparation and delivery, all laundry, complete interior cleaning and most of the exterior ground work for the building. Over 1200 hours has been donated to the North Platte Animal Shelter by Inmate workers. Inmate workers have assisted Lincoln County Buildings and Grounds with hundreds of hours of labor; recently assisting with renovation of District 11 Probation Office. Inmate workers have completed trash pickups for villages within Lincoln County, cleaning up parks and roadways. As staff time allows, more of these events will be planned to assist our villages and community groups. We have a G. E. D. program in place and many inmates have taken their required classes. We have had two inmates get their diplomas but many more have completed course work while in the facility.
Most of the above listed items were not possible in the old Lincoln County Jail. Sheriff Kramer and his staff will continue looking for efficient cost saving measures in the future.