Sheriff Branham Releases Annual Jail Report

(BEDFORD) – Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham released his annual jail report.

The jail was opened in July 1990 at 1420 I Street. At the time, the facility housed 88 inmates. The Security Center was then double-bunked in 1992, increasing the capacity to 168. The indoor recreation room was converted to dorm housing in 2016 to increase the capacity to 180.

The Security Center has a disciplinary segregation cell block with a capacity of 4 inmates with inside medical segregation cells. A padded cell was completely renovated in September 2007 and a holding area with a rated capacity of 12 inmates was added.

From Jan. 1, 2019 through Dec. 21, 2019, there were 2,016 inmates processed into the Lawrence County Security Center which averaged 5.5 bookings per day. There were 2,001 inmates released from the Lawrence County Security Center during the same time period. From Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018, there were 1,911 inmates processed into the jail which averaged 5.2 bookings per day. There were 1,920 inmates released during the same time period.

The average daily population in 2019 was 158 with a low point of 130 inmates in February and November and a high point of 198 in July. The average length of stay for an inmate during 2019 was 28.8 days. The average daily population for 2018 was 178 with a low point of 147 in December and a high of 204 in September. The average length of stay for an inmate in 2018 was 34.4. days.

There were no in-custody deaths in 2019 and no escape attempts.

No juveniles were held in the facility in 2019.

The Security Center submitted claims to the Indiana Department of Corrections totaling $111,480 for holding IDOC inmates including Level 6 felons during 2019. The Security Center held an average of 13 IDOC offenders per day in 2019. The IDOC stopped paying per diem for Level 6 offenders in July 2019, opting instead to pay counties an annual lump sum for housing Level 6 felons.

The Security Center submitted claims to the IDOC totaling $188,020 for holding IDOC offenders (including Level 6 felons) during 2018. The jail held an average of 15 IDOC offenders per day in 2018.

The following is a list representing the top ten reasons a person was booked into the jail during 2019:

  • Meth: 420 (Possession of Meth – 344, Dealing Meth – 76)
  • Petition to revoke probation: 353
  • Failure to appear: 282
  • Marijuana: 269 (Possession of Marijuana – 258, Dealing Marijuana – 11)
  • Operating a vehicle while under the Influence: 243
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia: 239
  • Battery: 182 (Domestic Battery – 79, Other Battery – 103)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Syringe: 180
  • Resisting Law Enforcement: 166
  • Public Intoxication: 154

The following is a list representing the top ten reasons a person was booked into the jail during 2018:

  • Petition to Revoke: 341
  • Meth: 340 (Possession of Meth – 315, Dealing Meth – 25)
  • Failure to Appear: 251
  • Marijuana: 226 (Possession of Marijuana – 217, Dealing Marijuana – 9)
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia: 219
  • Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated: 167
  • Unlawful Possession of Syringe: 151
  • Battery: 128 (Domestic Battery 71, Other Battery – 57)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance: 114
  • Public Intoxication: 111

The following programs and service are available at the Security Center:

  • GED Classes and a literacy program – These programs are generally offered once a week. The GED classes are provided through Vincennes University and there is no cost to the inmate or the county.
  • Religious Services – A variety of religious services are available at the Security Center and offered several times a week. Volunteers conduct and oversee these services. The jail also has two volunteers that serve as chaplains providing counseling to inmates during times of crisis such as a death in the family, etc.
  • Centerstone POPS program for incarcerated fathers.
  • Inmate Work Program – The program utilizes low-risk inmates for various jobs inside the jail, including working in the kitchen preparing meals and doing laundry and general cleaning. There are 8 inmate workers who work a combined 50 hours per day, every day. If the security staff has to be utilized for these tasks, it would cost the county an additional $752.50 per day or $274,662.60 per year, based on a jail officer’s pay.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous

The Lawrence County Security Center contracts with Advanced Correctional Healthcare for a physician and, as of October 2019, a full-time and part-time registered nurse. The physician comes to the jail weekly and is on call 24 hours a day. The Security Center has a licensed clinical social worker through Advanced Correctional Healthcare who visits the jail weekly to see to the mental health needs of the inmates.

The Security Center has a need for additional storage space for the paperwork that they are required to keep. The paperwork continues to accumulate at a considerable rate. There is also a need for additional room for other materials which officials need to keep on hand, such as inmate uniforms, shoes and bedding materials.

The Lawrence County Security Center is the only facility that is in operation 14 hours a day, seven days a week and is beginning to show its age as it has been in continuous operation for 30 years.

Issues include:

  • Deterioration of the concrete ramp leading to the upper level of the public entrance to the building.
  • Poor drainage from the top of the ramp and entryway area, allowing as much as 2 inches of water into the lower level lobby during periods of heavy or prolonged train
  • Parts for security doors within the Security Center are becoming increasingly difficult to find (motors) and are very expensive due to having to custom fabricated (relays).

The Lawrence County Security Center is currently understaffed by 6 officers. This was determined per a jail staffing analysis conducted by Gill Wilson.

In December 2019, the Lawrence County Jail installed a COBRA Key System to improve key control and accountability.

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