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Detention center looking into buying machine

By KEN MILAM

POTEAU – Security and meals were among the main topics of discussion Wednesday afternoon at a meeting of the LeFlore County Detention Center Public Trust.

Jail Administrator Dan Carter said he is looking into acquiring a body X-ray machine to screen inmates and employees for contraband. He said there have been cases of people smuggling drugs, weapons and other contraband into jails inside their bodies.

He said there are four such machines being used in Oklahoma jails, including one in Sallisaw. He said the machine is basically the same as those used at airports.

He said he is looking into finding a grant to pay for the equipment. He said the unit is $125,000 if purchased outright, or it could be acquired on a lease-to-own plan over seven years.

The board tabled two bids for providing food and food services so members could check references and go over details of the two proposals. Under terms of the bids, the winning company would supply three meals daily prepared by trusties under a dietician’s direction. They would hire someone to oversee the service locally.

Tiger Food Services bid $1.83 per meal if serving 175-199 inmates; Summit Food Service bid $174 per meal if serving 175-184 inmates.

Carter said he is interviewing people for the position of jail nurse. He said none of the candidates interviewed so far wanted to accept the job at $17.50 per hour. Board Chairman Craig Olive said some way to reduce payroll was needed to make room for a higher salary.

Carter said one problem has been employees quitting with several thousand dollars of accrued comp time that has to be paid. He said he plans to implement a new rule next year limiting comp time to 100 hours per year.

The board renewed its contract with Prodigy Solutions for commissary and telephone services.

Carter said a religious service was held last month and the chaplain was so pleased he suggested at least twice a month. Carter said the first coed service would be held with a visiting preacher Sept. 22. He said women would be seated and male inmates would stand and the groups would be separated by staff members. He said any disturbance would be dealt with harshly.

He also said GED classes are planned.

The board was told that upcoming staff training would include crisis intervention and liability and risk management.


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