Escambia county to improve jail safety

Published 7:29 am Wednesday, April 20, 2005

By by Lee Weyhrich
Gov. Bob Riley has awarded over $80,000 to improve local jails through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to Escambia Sheriff Grover Smith the money will be primarily implemented to pay the salary of a jail consultant.
"It pays for a jail consultant who works for the Alabama Jail Association," Smith said. "He comes to the jails and helps them with issues. There are issues involving everything from mold, spiders, and other health risks for inmates to safety and health issues for inmates and staff of the facilities."
Brice Paul is the state Jail consultant, it is his job to inspect the jails and make sure equipment, facilities and officer training skills are up to date.
"He is responsible for training our jail staff," Smith said. "He will host and or coordinate advanced, officer training as well."
According to information provided by the governor's office the grant will also help train 150 new correctional officers in jail management.
In the past, staffing and space issues have been a problem in the state jails with few officers to handle a large number of inmates.
"Professional training and adequate staffing are essential to maintaining order and ensuring the safety of local correctional officers," Riley said in a prepared statement. "I commend the Alabama Sheriff's Association for the assistance it provides to city and county law enforcement agencies and I am pleased to provide these funds."
Smith commends the government for their efforts to improve jails in the state. He also said the current program headed by Paul has been very beneficial to the departments across the state.
"I'm glad we've got the program and I hope we continue to have it," Smith said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox