Fresno County Jail
On October 8th we visited Fresno County Jail. Fresno County Jail is ran by the Fresno County Sheriffs Office. According to the visitation there is not one specific watch commander, there are several different individuals that are watch commander which is dependent on the shift. The head of the agency or director is Sheriff Margaret Mims. The inmates at this particular institution are supervised by approximately 350 individuals ranging from correctional officers, sergeants, and lieutenants. As defined by Fresno county it is the Correctional Sergeants duty to act as a lead supervisor for one or more functional work areas. Correctional Sergeants then report to Correctional Lieutenants who serve as a watch commander for an assigned work shift. Correctional Lieutenants are also the first management level classification within the correctional officer classification series. This particular jail is used to detain individuals awaiting court appearance, and to house convicted inmates sentenced to serve terms in the local jail. As I am writing this paper the current population is 2,639 where only 231 of those are female inmates. There are currently 959 sentenced inmates in the jail, and 1680 are considered to be “pretrial”.
The proposed budget for 2014-2015 shows $178,882,470 for the Sheriffs office which represents a six percent increase from the previous year. This budget would help increase the current need for more officers. The minimum qualifications for a Correctional officer includes the completion of thirty semester units from an accredited college or university, be atleast 21 years of age, possession of a valid California Class “C” Driver's License, and to successfully complete the training requirements set forth by Penal Code Section 832 Title 15.
Inmates have medical, dental, and mental health services at their disposal 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The Jail Psychiatric Services has a crisis intervention service that is staffed by mental health clinicians and is available to all individuals that are incarcerated. If an offender wants to attain a GED then they can with the Adult School that is available to them in the jail. There are several religious programs. Alcoholics and Narcotics anonymous meetings are also available if any offender wants to attend.
As far as observations go Fresno County Jail or the part of the jail we walked through seemed really old, and in desperate need of some renovations. The classification of offenders seemed really interesting to me seeing that Fresno County is the main stomping ground for bulldog gang members, and bulldog gang members are known to not have a real heirachy and are mostly an “individualistic” gang in nature. I didn't really see too many interactions between inmates and the staff other then the individual that was not listening to any orders so they needed to physically restrain him. We did interact with an inmate that talked to us about how he and several others get different privileges because they volunteer, and help around the facility.
Fresno County Juvenile Hall
On October 10th we visited the Fresno County Juvenile Hall. According to the websit there are two directors one of them is Joy Thompson which is the Detention Facility Division Director, and Kirk Haynes which is the Commitment Facility Division Director. This new facility was opened in 2006 and it cost the county $145 million dollars. It currently has a capacity of 240 beds for juveniles currently going through court proceedings, and another 240 beds for minors that have already been sentenced. This institution has an array of different services available to juveniles. These services include state mandated educational services, the Floyd Farrow Substance Abuse Program, The New Horizons Program, The Boys and Girls Clubs, Thinking for a change, faith based services and programs that focus on the juveniles sobriety. The state mandated...
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