Jackson County Prosecutor asks legislators to hand over jail operations to sheriff's office

Kara Marxer
June 05, 2018 - 4:14 am

KMBC Channel 9 News

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Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker is continuing her push for county legislators to take action to fix problems at the jail.

A grand jury's report has found that the jail is overcrowded, understaffed and plagued with unsafe living conditions. Inmates charged with serious crimes have been released because there is not enough room for them at the jail. Inmates have obtained cell phone, which they allegedly used to organize the murders of witnesses.

Baker has said the problems at the jail are not going to suddenly improve unless concrete changes are made, so she is reiterating her call for the sheriff's office to take over administration of the facility.

"I'm asking you to take charge, show leadership, and let's find another mechanism to get this done," Baker said to legislators.

County legislators are considering asking voters to decide on jail management, but Baker said she is worried that if the problems continue to go unchecked for that long, a federal judge may issue a decree and force the county to spend countless dollars to fix those issues. County taxpayers have spent more than $120 million on maintenance and operations at the jail over the past five years. 

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