Commissioners inspect county jail
Last updated 6/3/2021 at 8:33am
RITZVILLE – Adams County Commissioners performed their quarterly inspection of the county jail Wednesday, May 26.
Jail Commander Nick Williams led them through every area of the jail, from the top floor to the basement, including dispatch, inmate holding areas, supplies and booking.
The three cells on the top floor are for inmates to be held in a temporary, two-week quarantine to watch for any COVID-19 symptoms before being introduced to the general population.
Williams said 13 inmates were in-house that day. The average stay for an inmate, Williams said, is from a few days to a couple of months. Anyone sentenced to more than a year and a day is sent to prison.
Williams demonstrated video phones placed in each inmate's cell. The inmates can purchase data for video visitation. The visitor, approved ahead of time, can be in the jailhouse, or attend the call from somewhere else.
Other services, accessible for free on the video-phones, include forms to file grievances or to order purchased items from the commissary such as snacks, hygiene items or a deck of cards.
Inmates are fed three meals a day, prepared by inmates at the prison in Airway Heights. The pre-packaged meals are frozen until ready to be used.
Williams said for inmates who are out of control due to drugs or emotional issues, a mental health counselor is available to come to the jail.
"The inmates usually won't open up to someone in a uniform, but if a counselor is sent in – usually a woman - they can really be a big benefit to the jail staff," Williams said.
Williams was happy to report the Sheriff's department has just been approved for three corporal positions under Williams' one sergeant. The corporals will be able to make decisions about day-to-day operations inside the jail.
"That way, if a decision needs to be made and my sergeant and I aren't here, we don't have to be called in," Williams said.