County looking into rocket docket procedure

Deputy Brian Eaves of the Madison County Sheriff's Department was awarded the 2018 Hero Award for the Madison County Sheriff's Department by several students from Madison County High School who participate in the Madison County Youth in Action program. The program is designed to change the perception of underaged drinking.

 

Taylor Six/The Register

On her second official day in office, County Attorney Jennie Haymond presented three new proposals Tuesday to the Madison County Fiscal Court, including a court program that could produce substantial savings for the county.

The first proposal of the rocket docket procedure that would allow the court process to push felony drug related cases to reduce the time period that an inmate is arrested, before they are turned over to the state. The rocket docket process would reduce the time in custody from six months to approximately 22 to 30 days.

In an average timeline, the county holds 250 county inmates at a time that each cost $25 to hold daily. If each inmate is held 180 days, it costs the county approximately $1,395,000.

With the rocket docket timeline, there would be an estimated savings to the county of $1,162,500.

In order to implement the rocket docket process, Haymond requested up to $50,000 from the fiscal court to match the federal funding for personnel pay. The matched amount could decrease depending on the amount that the state rewards the county.

Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor believes that the rocket docket process would save the county money, as well as well as put in motion another tactic to crack down on the drug epidemic in Madison County.

“We have researched this drug epidemic for four years now, and the proposal I have come to is there’s no one-fix-all," Taylor said. "We have to hit this from all different directions. We have to find a way to make up for the loses, because financially this is absolutely killing the county.”

The second proposal was a request to allow a new position to be created for a diversion coordinator with a total salary including benefits at $52,500.

It is a full-time position that would manage all of the diversion programs, mostly for first time offenders, that would include traffic diversions, theft and domestic violence. The fiscal court approved a total package amount which is not to exceed $53,000.

Finally, Haymond requested the court approve a position for an assistant county attorney in which civil cases would be dedicated to the position holder that Haymond herself cannot get to immediately. The position was approved with a total package for the salary and benefits that was not to exceed $60,000.

All proposals had their first reading approved.

• • •

Mmembers of the Madison County Youth in Action group presented the Madison County’s Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year to two members of the sheriff’s department. The group’s mission is to change the perception of underaged drinking.

Deputy Michael Stotts was awarded the Madison County Sheriff's Department Officer of the Year award for 2018.

Deputy Brian Eaves of the sheriff’s department was presented with the Hero Award for 2018.

Madison County Teen Court and Youth in Action coordinator and advisor, Jennifer Webb, proposed for a second time an ordinance that would hold parents accountable for holding parties that provide alcohol to underaged kids.

“What this ordinance does is holds these parents responsible for holding these parties and providing alcohol to kids that are under 21,” Webb said. “If you think this doesn’t happen in this county, you can ask any of these kids and they are very candid about what is talked about in school.”

The penalty of civil or criminal penalties would be the decision of the fiscal court. Webb has presented the ordinance to both the Richmond City Commission as well as the Berea City Council.

Other business

• The court went into two individual executive sessions on account of personnel issues which resulted in the approval of terminating two employees.

• The sheriff’s budget was approved by the court with a total of $3,818,647 which is a $191,335 increase from last year's budget.

• The county clerk’s budget was approved.

• A $28,075 bid from Franklin Covey Training Service was approved for a CSEPP leadership training program.

The Fiscal Court will hold its next meeting on Jan. 22 in Richmond at 9:30 a.m.

Taylor Six can be reached at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter at @TaylorSixRR.

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