Booming Gage County Inmate Population, Causing Staff Pressure

BEATRICE – A Gage County Corrections Sergeant is telling county supervisors that more staffing help is needed, because of a booming jail population.

Recently, the county had a total of 54 inmates, about double the number that can be housed in Gage County’s jail.   Sergeant Pam VanLaningham says that means prisoners continue to be shipped out to other jails in Nebraska, or Kansas.

:36                  “the same day”

County corrections has one transport van, and one transport officer.   VanLaningham says the corrections department currently has no relief staff to help cover night shifts at the jail.

:16                  “lot of overtime”

VanLaningham says the corrections staff needs at least three people per shift.  She asked county officials to consider ways to address the inmate overcrowding issue.

:08                  “right now”

Sheriff Millard Gustafson told the board of supervisors everyone knows about the scope of the problem.

:18                  “conduct business”

County Attorney Roger Harris says county jails are now also being asked to deal with persons who have mental health issues, because of a lack of holding options, elsewhere.

Several years ago, Gage County voters rejected a bond issue for a new larger jail and law enforcement center.  Supervisors have been reluctant to go down that route, again.

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