Monday, July 19, 2010

CCA Has Pretty Low Standards

A third of the guards who used to work at Hernando County Jail when it was operated by CCA were immediately disqualified from Sheriff Richard Nugent's hiring process.  The Sheriff has recently taken over operations of the facility, and thankfully is looking for better-qualified officers to staff it with.  I've written before about this jail and CCA's shadily baking out of its contract after a bunch of serious maintenance issues were uncovered; but given the level of professional excellence of the people who worked there, I can't say I'm that surprised by the fact that it fell into such disrepair.  The most recently-rejected candidates were disqualified for things such as acting as an intermediary in drug deals, and admitting to taking "a variety of substances in the past, ranging from marijuana and cocaine to mushrooms and a veterinary anesthetic."  Now I know people make some dumb choices in life and I'm willing to chalk up a lot of drug use to that, but a veterinary anesthetic?

I am completely in favor of Sheriff Nugent taking over operations of the jail, especially when he says things like ""If they're going to wear my badge and work for me ... the corrections staff will handle inmates and the public professionally."  But one thing I find troublesome is that he says he will have the exact same number of guards watching the prisoners as were there before, and claims that this will put no one at risk.  What the Sheriff may not realize is that CCA chronically understaffs their facilities, so I hope he analyzes his need for COs based on the inmate population and security concerns, rather than just copying what CCA does.  Given their track record, including their failure to even adequately maintain this jail, I think the Sheriff would be wise to steer clear of just aping CCA's incompetence.


  1. Anonymous22 July, 2010

    Since the Sheriff has never worked at or ran a jail what would you expect?

  2. Fair enough; he is certainly venturing into some unknown territory here. And it's even harder because CCA has run the jail for so long so he doesn't even have say an ex-sheriff from the town to rely on for guidance. However, I do like that he brought in the consultant to help him with the transition. I just hope that he properly evaluates the situation he's dealt once he gets a handle for the inmate population, layout of the facility, etc., and then decides if he needs to bring on more staff. I have faith in him at this point to operate the facility to a much higher standard than CCA did, until he proves me wrong

  3. Anonymous23 July, 2010

    If he proves you wrong it's the county tax payers that will have have to pay for his mistakes. CCA has deep pockets. Right or wrong that does save the county money by not going to trial.