By STEVEN T. DENNIS
Citing a booming prisoner population in the past year, Washington County Sheriff Charles Mades Tuesday asked the Washington County Commissioners for an additional $1 million to fund the county Detention Center.
"This is the nightmare, gentlemen," Mades said.
Mades said that the average number of prisoners rose from 310 per day in February 1996 to 367 this February. The prisoner count reached an all-time high of 400 Sunday, before dropping to 387 Tuesday, Mades said.
About $446,000 would pay for 22 new correctional officers, in addition to the 64 already employed. The cost would have been $644,015 if the new officers would all be hired July 1, when the new fiscal year starts. Instead, the officers would be phased in, saving money in the first year, Mades said. A new clerk and a chef also were requested. Mades also requested large increases in food, health care and other items because of the higher inmate population.