County Jail Population Reaches Record High
Soon after the new Marinette County Law Enforcement Center was opened in 2004, a low population mark in the upper 40s was set. Nine years later, the jail population is reaching all time highs.
Jail Administrator Bob Majewski reported at the Monday, Feb. 11 meeting of the Law Enforcement Committee that January population averaged 132.7. In early days of February, the jail hit a record high of 146 inmates, with population averaging around 144 during the past week. The facility has a theoretical capacity of 165, but is considered full when it reaches 80-85 percent of capacity.
Majewski presented a snap shot of the population on Feb. 6, which showed 120 males and 23 females in custody. Three of the inmates were boarders from Oconto County.
Of the 143 in the jail, 34 were there post sentencing, that is, they were serving their court-ordered sentence. Of those 34, 17 were serving time for a felony conviction, and 17 were serving a misdemeanor conviction. Among the crimes of which they were convicted include drug-related, OWI, failure to pay child support, battery, theft, disorderly conduct, sexual assault, burglary, fleeing/eluding an officer, and ID theft. Inmates sentenced for major felonies with longer sentences are moved to the State Correctional System.
There are 52 inmates held in jail awaiting their date in court. Of those 52, 49 were being held on felony charges, with the other three on misdemeanor charges. Among the felony charges, 12 were drug related, 11 were OWI related, five each for burglary and theft, four for bail jumping, and the rest for things like battery, homicide, armed robbery, reckless endangerment, etc.
The other 57 inmates not counted above were there for a variety of other charges, including failure to pay child support, probation revocations, warrants, Department of Correction holds, and the like.
Included in his report, Majewski said the County is working on an agreement with the Brown County Sheriffs Department on juvenile inmate housing. In the past, Marinette County has used Oconto and Manitowoc counties to house juveniles, but both those counties are closing their juvenile facilities.
Majewski added that the DVR/Camera upgrade is progressing on schedule and additional training of the newer Correctional Officers is moving along very well.
In other matters, Communications Director Terry Zimmerman stated the 3rd part-time dispatcher has been hired and that progress is being made with filling the one vacant full-time dispatcher. The Assistant Communications Director position was posted and that it will be filled within the next two weeks.
Zimmerman added that a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Mass Communication Notification System has been posted. The results should be available for the March committee meeting.
Reporting on the call volumes for the month, Zimmerman said the numbers were very similar to past Januarys. As a part of his report, he reminded residents who have VOIP phone systems at home, that is phone service provided through their internet connection through programs like Time Warner, Vonage, Magic Jack, etc., to register through their provider for 911 location service.
Emergency Management Director Eric Burmeister reported on a recent Hazmat Responders meeting he attended, as well as other future training meetings and seminars. He said he is working on hosting one of the seminars in Marinette County this summer.
The Committee approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Catholic Charities for a mens Educational Group on the topic of Ending Domestic Violence. The program is usually supported by donations from places like St. Vincent DePaul. The memorandum states that if the donations run out, the program will end. The two-hour classes are offered weekly at a cost of $105 per class.
Last month, the Committee again approved five new Sheriffs Department Vehicles, changeover services and decal packages for those vehicles. At this meeting, the Committee approved low bid for Grill Guards on those vehicles. The low bid of $478.63 per vehicle was from T&S Metal Specialists of Oconto. Lt. Jim Albright was authorized to double-check the materials before installation. If they are not satisfactory, he was authorized to contract with the second lowest bid.
Sheriff Jerry Sauve presented his departments January activity report for December. In the accident category, there were 67 incidents involving deer or other animals, 44 accidents with property damage, 14 with personal injury and 7 hit-and-runs. The Department responded to 16 burglary class, 10 domestic disturbances, 10 mental health checks, 14 OWI, and 65 warrant stops. The report contained an exhaustive list detailing all the different types of calls.
Under arrest charges, 19 people were arrested for Operating While under the Influence, 13 for disorderly conduct, 12 for destruction/damage to property, 8 for drug/narcotic violations, 10 for warrant arrest, and many for other charges.
Under citations Issued, the most frequent were for Speeding (58), Blood Alcohol over legal limit (17), Seatbelt violation (11), No proof of insurance (36), and no insurance (14). For OWI citations, there were 10 first offenses, 5 second offenses, two thirds, and one fifth or more.
Sauve added he will attend the state Sheriffs meeting, that a new Jail Receptionist has been hired, and overtime was under budget for the month.
He also reported two accident fatalities in January.
After reviewing the paid schedule of invoices, the Committee approved writing off $101,890.82 in inmate Board accounts, and $122 in civil process accounts. These accounts have had the statute of limitations expire with no result from collection activity, or the person is now deceased.
The Committee also approved turning over $34,159.54 in Inmate Board accounts to a collection agency. The agency recently recovered $3,148.01 in Inmate Board accounts.
Recent stories, opinions and photos