November 1, 2001
Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
or 502-8262 pager
Taxpayers Millions of Dollars
In an effort to
minimize the cost of maintaining and operating the Central County Jail,
South County Jail, and the Juvenile Boot Camp, the Polk County Sheriff's
Office uses inmates to carry out various forms of maintenance. These
inmates, known as trustees, are minimum to medium custody (no first degree
felonies) inmates who have shown excellent behavior and passed the trustee
screening process. The screening program looks at the inmate's
charges, criminal history, health, and other factors to determine whether
he or she is able to become a trustee.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office currently has 189 trustees who handle
various duties at PCSO facilities and other county locations.
Central County Jail houses 79 male and 35 female trustees, while South
County Jail houses 75 male trustees.
Trustees carry out a variety of different tasks that save the Polk County
Sheriff's Office - and therefore taxpayers - approximately 2.5
million dollars annually. These duties include custodial and grounds
maintenance at the jails, boot camp, and other county buildings, skilled
trades such as plumbing at these locations, miscellaneous work on
departmental vehicles (cages, hitches, window covers), animal care for
live stock secured by the agricultural crimes unit, farm-related duties
such as crop rotation,
fertilizing, tilling, seed planting and harvesting, irrigation and fence
repairs, filling sand bags for inclement weather conditions, and
maintenance at county recreation areas and parks.
Two significant services in particular that are handled by trustees are
the kitchen and laundry room duties. Kitchen services are supervised
by PCSO detention deputies and typically consist of 2 crews of trustees
per shift at each jail. The Boot Camp is serviced by crews at the
Central County Jail. On an average day, these kitchen crews prepare a
total of 5,700 meals. Laundry is another task that would be
extremely costly without the labor provided by trustees. Crews of
trustees handle the endless chore of cleaning and folding laundry for the
more than 1,900 inmates who occupy PCSO detention facilities.
The use of trustees is one more example of how the Polk County Sheriff's
Office strives to be as efficient as possible with taxpayers' money.