Jail issues nothing new

Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 09:27 AM.

That employee was terminated after the public incident.

“I have a right to have that jail inspected,” Bryan said in the face of Hammond’s refusal to allow an inspection without a vote of the full board.

The inspection is the responsibility of the jail administrator under Florida law.

Liability rests with Hammond and, given Hammond’s role as a county employee, the Board of County Commissioners, according to state statutes governing jails.

Based on information provided by the Florida Sheriff’s Association, which had offered a free jail inspection, Bryan contends an inspection should be performed annually; inspections are performed at other jails, including small counties, despite Hammond’s statement otherwise; and that to not undertake an inspection leaves the county open to liability.

“We have an issue with liability,” Bryan said. “With an inspection, at least it shows we are trying to do something.”

Ignorance of the problems at the jail – and county staff acknowledged the jail does not meet Modern Jail Standards, the template for inspections – is not a defense against liability.

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