Inmates return to the Brown County Jail

The inmates have returned to the Brown County Jail.

63 men were returned to the now all-male facility the morning of June 15.

The jail will have a capacity of 68, with any additional men and all female prisoners being housed in Butler County.

“I feel outstanding.  We finally got our jail back open,” said Brown County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Carl Smith.

“We left five slots open here in case we get someone locally who really needs to be locked up quickly.”

Smith said he expected the number of trips to Butler County to decline to one or two trips per week.

“It’s going to be a lot safer because we aren’t going to be on the road so much.  Having everybody here will be a lot better for everyone,” Smith said.

He also cautioned that just because the jail was open again, that did not mean that the “jail problem” had been solved.

“We still have an overcrowding issue and our jail population is going to continue to grow. Not too long ago, we had 34 females in our jail.  I saw personally 127 inmates total in this jail at one time. We can’t do that anymore.  We have to do something,” Smith said.

“Our jail was designed to hold 38.  I think we can safely, comfortably and securely hold 68.  Anything over that, I think you are getting into a powderkeg situation.”

Brown County Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger issued a press release in which he said he “would like to thank Chief Deputy Carl Smith and the Brown County Commissioners for their numerous hours of work, which was instrumental in the re-opening of the Brown County Adult Detention Center.”

The Brown County Jail shut down last October after a corrections officer filed an unsafe workplace complaint.

A number of inmates got out of a dayroom with a faulty lock on the door.

Since then, Brown County has spent over $1.5 million on new doors and new infrastructure for the jail, as well as paying Butler County approximately $125,000 per month to house inmates.

With females and overflow males being housed there, that expense will continue, but at a lower rate.

Smith said that the average daily count in Butler County was approximately 75 inmates and that 13 women and five men were currently incarcerated there.

If twenty inmates are housed in Butler County at $70 per day, that is a monthly expense of $42,000, or $504,000 per year.