Regional Jail Authority hosts local meeting to discuss costs and services
The Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority met with local officials at Southern Regional Jail on Tuesday.
Over the next few months, they'll be hearing from the communities they serve about their vital public safety role and resulting costs.
Representatives with the Regional Jail Authority presented the agency's financial operations and discussed high-level issues like bond funding, financing and setting the per-diem. Executive Director Joe DeLong went through issue by issue and every action plan already in place.
For example, one of the biggest budget topics in discussion was excessive overtime costs, to which DeLong explained the redefined pay period.
"Our goal has always been to eliminate the mandatory overtime and forcing someone to stay and work, while still having overtime opportunities for those who want them," said DeLong.
Relationship issues and customer-service topics were brought up as well. DeLong touched on employee turnover, and how new changes in work schedule should combat that.
"There's areas where I think we can create better retirement. There's areas with the scheduling that we're working on ways to staff better so that our correctional officers aren't spending every second of every day in a very difficult environment," he said.
A roundtable discussion was then held for questions on control costs and improving services.
Delegate Linda Sumner told us, besides their budget, which topic she's like to see tackled.
"You have to be concerned about the safety and keeping people here to work. Making sure correctional officers don't get burned out and making sure they have comparable pay for the job that they do," she said.
The Southern Regional Jail houses an average of almost 600 inmates per day and they have a little more than 100 employees.