Jail Population Up for the Month of January

(BEDFORD) – Sheriff Mike Branham reported there are 172 inmates lodged in the Lawrence County Jail as of Tuesday morning.

Sheriff Mike Branham

“It’s kind of a perfect storm,” he told the commissioners, “The weather is warm, there are a lot of new active officers in both departments, and State Police have been more active in the county.”

These items could be contributing to the increased jail population.

Of those 172 inmates, 131 are males, 41 females, three Level 6 convictions and one Department of Correction hold.

“172 is high for the month of January,” Sheriff Branham added. “But it seems to be a trend we will need to watch.”

These are the numbers of inmates housed in the jail for January 7th in past years:

  • Jan. 7, 2015 – 109
  • Jan. 7, 2016 – 118
  • Jan. 7, 2017 – 120
  • Jan. 7, 2018 – 172
  • Jan. 7, 2019 – 159

In 2019 during the second quarter, the average daily population hovered at 161, with the average length of stay around 28.8 days. In 2018 the average daily population was 177 with the average length of stay around 34.5 days.

In other business:

The commissioners elected officers. Gene McCracken will serve as president with Rodney Fish serving as Vice President.

Gene McCracken
Rodney Fish

The commissioners voted to allow Chad Shew of Community Corrections to apply for a $32,226 Juvenile Community Corrections grant from the Department of Corrections.

Highway crews are cutting brush, cold patching, replacing culverts and ditching to prepare for spring paving.

The commissioners signed a well maintenance agreement with Aecom for the landfill. The contract is for $25,900. Highway Superintendent David Holmes says he underestimated the amount of the contract at budget time so he will be asking the county council for an additional $1,000 to cover the cost of the contract.

Bridge crews doing routine bridge maintenance and assisting highway crews.

David Holmes

The beams are being set today on Bridge 121 on Williams Silverville Road.

“We are well on our way to getting a new bridge,” Holmes told the commissioners.

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer said she is monitoring the incoming rainy weather.

Valerie Luchauer

“They are saying we could get four-plus inches of rain this weekend,” Luchauer added. “We will be monitoring flooding and trees down.”

The trees are falling due to the saturated soil.

Luchauer is also working on a new assessment for the state for her office’s salary grant.