Some federal inmates to be moved from Mecklenburg jail to different facility in Ga.

Officials say the MCSO anticipated the decline in the federal population and made the necessary fiscal adjustments.
Officials say the MCSO anticipated the decline in the federal population and made the necessary fiscal adjustments.
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 4:48 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The federal government will soon be relocating a number of inmates from the Mecklenburg jail to a different facility in Georgia.

The inmates will be moved from Mecklenburg County Detention Center Central to the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia.

Officials say the current federal population inside MCDCC as of today is 282, but the number of federal detainees is constantly fluctuating.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has a contractual agreement with the United States Marshals Service to house federal detainees at the rate of $160.00 per day.

If the number of federal detainees is reduced, then so does the corresponding revenue received by MCSO since the revenue is based on the actual number of federal detainees housed in the detention center on any given day.

Officials say the MCSO anticipated the decline in the federal population and made the necessary fiscal adjustments.

Related: Mecklenburg County sheriff submits jail correction plan to North Carolina health leaders

This comes after MCSO submitted a plan of correction months after state investigators issued a report detailing overcrowding and understaffing, calling the jail “unsafe.”

Sheriff McFadden laid out a detailed and comprehensive plan to address the deficiencies noted in an inspection report.

It was a response to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Supplemental Biannual Inspection and Compliant Investigation. This supplemental biannual inspection and complaint investigation found deficiencies that need to be fixed.

State leaders gave the MCSO a deadline to submit a plan of correction on each deficiency by March 11, 2022.

Related: N.C. inspectors give Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office a deadline to fix deficient jail conditions

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry L. McFadden and the Facility Commander of Detention Center Central, Major Sheray DeLeon presented MCSO’s plan of correction during a Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners public policy meeting.

Sheriff McFadden laid out a detailed and comprehensive plan to address the deficiencies noted in the DHSR report.

“It should also be noted the plan of correction focused on the deficiencies which did not include an official request to depopulate the detention center as previously noted in their preliminary findings on December 23, 2021,” a press release read.

“I am confident in the plan of correction presented before County Commissioners today,” said Sheriff McFadden. “Even in the preliminary letter we received from the jail inspector, depopulating was not an enforcement action, but only a suggestion. MCSO took the initiative to voluntarily depopulate in accordance with the current critical staffing level. We have worked diligently to address the deficiencies found and will continue to work to ensure the safety and security of our detention facilities. From creating an adequate staffing plan, to aggressively recruiting and strategizing, I’m proud of the efforts of my staff as well as the assistance and collaboration from our criminal justice partners during this critical time for the agency.”

Related: N.C. inspectors: Depopulation needed due to critically low staffing levels in ‘unsafe’ Mecklenburg jail

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office provided strategies to address supervision, ensure accountability, address supervision of local confinement, address staffing and safety, address recruiting and retention and address depopulation.

These are some of the plans MCSO wants to implement to help with these issues.

  • Bolster Recruitment and Retention Efforts
  • Deployment of Helping Employees Leave Positive (H.E.L.P.)
  • Deployment of Tactical Response Unit (TRU)
  • Contracting with Strategic Security Corporation
  • Depopulation of Mecklenburg jail

Recruitment and Retention Efforts

  • Competitive starting salary of $52,530
  • Submitted proposal for hiring and retention bonuses to attract and retain staff.
  • Continue advertising across multiple platforms to attract qualified applicants.
  • Conducting off-cycle hiring when necessary.
  • Evaluating software to streamline the recruitment and onboarding lifecycle.
  • Modified the detention officer observation period.
  • Stay interviews for retention.
  • Implementation of MCSO Peer Support Team.

Related: Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office hiring private security officers to help with staffing shortages at jail

Operation Helping Employees Leave Positive (H.E.L.P.)

  • January 26, 2022, Operation H.E.L.P. was implemented to address deficiencies in the mandatory overtime started on August 2, 2021.
  • H.E.L.P. provides a more structured approach to achieve appropriate staffing levels through overtime.
  • Staff are scheduled to work on regular schedules on opposite shifts.

Tactical Response Unit (TRU)

  • TRU was implemented on December 9, 2021, and comprised of specially trained officers, tasked with mass searches, cell extractions, and dealing with uncooperative and violent offenders.
  • Primary focus is to address troublesome areas of concern:
  • Increased occurrences of resident-on-resident and resident-on-officer assaults.
  • Increased contraband and homemade weapons within MCDCC.

Strategic Security Corporation

  • On February 14, 2022, MCSO began utilizing private security to augment staffing.
  • Private security guards are providing security in the lobby of MCDCC,
  • Sheriff’s Office Headquarter, MCSO Administrative Services Building, and public entry points at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse.

Depopulation of MCDCC

  • In December 2021, MCSO voluntarily began working to reduce the Average Daily Population (ADP) of MCDCC to a level that more appropriately aligns with current staffing.
  • The MCSO has been working with local justice system partners to reduce MCDCC’s ADP and is thankful for each agencies efforts.
  • On December 22, 2021, Sheriff McFadden reached out to the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association requesting assistance from the 99 other sheriffs
  • The MCSO is working with The United States Marshals (USM) to reduce the federal contract population.

Supervision - Plan of Correction

  • The time clock option on the tour watch system will be utilized to ensure tours are conducted within 30 minutes.
  • Tour begin and tour end times will be recorded in the Offender Management System (OMS).
  • Officers will conduct required tours by walking around and observing residents, while pressing all electronic tour buttons for confirmation.

MCSO officials say they are confident that this plan of correction addresses all the deficiencies noted in the Division of Health Services Regulation report submitted to Sheriff McFadden on Feb. 9, 2022.

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