Sheriff Bill Bivens
|Published: 8:52 AM, 03/06/2013
||Last updated: 8:52 AM, 03/06/2013
Author: Michael Thomason
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
MADISONVILLE-While Monroe County is
slowly moving toward a new jail whether it wants to or not, a major
player has resigned from the Justice Center Committee.
The committee was formed by Monroe
County Mayor Tim Yates after the state declared either the county
could build a new jail or the state would step in, enact a tax
increase and build the jail. The committee is mainly made of of the
County Commission and various county leaders.
Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens
recently released a statement saying he is stepping down from the
"It is a known fact that the Monroe
County Jail is overpopulated. Our facility is older and we face
challenges with it daily, yet we make it work effectively. With
that said, it is ultimately the decision of the County Commission to
proceed forward with a new facility and not a decision of my own.
I have informed the county mayor of
my decision to resign as a voting member of the Justice Center
Committee; however, I will remain available at all times to answer
any questions or to give guidance if needed on the topic of jail
requirements. I steadfastly remain neutral on the topic except to say
this, is there a need? Yes! However, regardless of any decision by
the County Commission, I will continue to ensure that the inmates are
housed properly with three meals a day in a clean and orderly jail
and with proper medical care for as long as necessary."
The sheriff said even with these
guidelines in place, a failure to move forward by the County
Commission to appease the state will most likely result in
decertification of the jail due to age and overcrowding.
"We hold high standards. Our facility
is top rated due to the hard work and attention to detail our staff
maintains. On a recent inspection by TCI the inspector advised the
Monroe County Jail was in the best shape he had ever seen it, and
that he had inspected it some years ago and it was better now than
before," the Sheriff added.
The Justice Committee has picked a
piece of land on New Highway 68 South in Madisonville for the jail,
but Yates recommended delay in voting, as various county leaders
attend seminars on building a new jail.
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