In the recently released Mono County Grand Jury Report, jurors made some recommendations for the jail, and they interviewed Sheriff Rick Scholl.
The report says the three things most needed by the jail are a third cook, separation of the dispatch area from the control room and an update of electronic consoles in the control room. The report says that the sergeant they talked to did not think that separation of dispatch and the control room would happen any time soon.
The control area can electronically communicate between law enforcement agencies, jail door controls, and electrical systems. The report said staffing is an issue to cover these tasks and the dispatch. The report also noted that the electronic control system is aging and will eventually need to be replaced. The dispatch computer system, according to the report, is “old and would cost approximately $225,000 to $250,000 to replace.”
In an interview with Sheriff Rick Scholl the Jury determined that he is staying within his budget with some downsizing and position elimination going on. The Jury Report said that the Court has started conducting video arraignments in the Mammoth Lakes court building with arraignments still conducted at the Bridgeport Courthouse weekly.
On the issue of the State requiring that more prisoners remain in County Jail, the report revealed no major, immediate problem. However, according to the Jury, the State formula for reimbursement for prisoners is “well below the average daily inmate cost.” They said Sheriff Scholl is working with a state group of Sheriffs to stay on top of the issue.
The Jury Report quoted Sheriff Scholl as saying that “people may have to start changing their mindset about how we incarcerate people and be less aggressive about immediately incarcerating people when a citation might suffice.” Scholl said this is being done in some states. The Sheriff said that even though the Governor has guaranteed funding for county jails, the November tax measure will make that happen.
On the issue of staffing, the Sheriff is quoted as saying that there is a constant turnover and the salaries are relatively low. The report says things “always appear to be on the ragged edge.”