State recertifies Carter County Jail
Published 2:06 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2022
After six months of improvement efforts, the Carter County Jail received recertification on Wednesday from the Tennessee Corrections Institute.
“I am very relieved,” said Sheriff Mike Fraley. “After a brief discussion on the strides we have made at the facility, the board voted unanimously to certify our jail.”
The facility failed an inspection in July, with the state citing multiple compliance concerns ranging from staffing and certification to cleanliness and basic maintenance.
When inspected in July, only 32 of the 55 full-time detention positions were filled, many with employees pulled from other divisions.
The TCI conducted a second inspection in September, shortly after Fraley took office as sheriff. Although the state inspector could not recommend certification status at that time, the TCI agreed to review the status at its December board meeting, which was held Wednesday.
At that time, the primary concern expressed by TCI officials was what they termed “life safety issues” attributed to the critically low staffing of the jail.
Since then, the Carter County Commission approved a $5/hour increase for patrol officers and all sheriff’s department staff, a move which Fraley said would help with both recruiting and retention of jail staff.
“This is not anything I did; this was the result of everyone’s hard work,” Fraley said. “I appreciate everything my staff did to make this happen and I appreciate the county commission approving a much-needed pay increase for the department to help us retain our current employees and recruit new employees to correct our staffing issues.”