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Morning Sun
  • County considers correction system software

  • A touchscreen software system was presented to Crawford County Commissioners by Sheriff Dan Peak as a potential way to streamline inmate visitation, accounting and purchasing.

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  • A touchscreen software system was presented to Crawford County Commissioners by Sheriff Dan Peak as a potential way to streamline inmate visitation, accounting and purchasing.
    The system, produced by TurnKey Corrections, would allow for video visitation, counting and managing of prisoner cash upon booking and commissary purchases from that balance.
    Peak said video visitation is a new innovation in prison systems and could help to greatly reduce foot traffic on visitation days.
    “It enables inmates and family members to visit by video rather than through a glass wall with a handset,” Peak said. “It also allows the family to log in from home.”
    He said every other Sunday the correctional facility parking lot overflows with vehicles from around the region.
    “We have family members coming in from Kansas City, Springfield and Joplin to come visit family,” Peak said.
    However, he said it isn’t just family that comes to visit. Sometimes it is friends of inmates who then represent a security problem for the county and area.
    Concerns also arise anytime Peaks office handles inmates’ cash.
    “The jail is our biggest liability in the county,” Peak said, adding that the current system of counting out inmates’ cash upon booking and putting it in a safe leaves a lot of loopholes that could be eliminated by the TurnKey system, which would count the cash as it is put in the machine, then issue commissary credit during the inmate’s time in prison. Remaining funds would be put on a debit card upon the inmate’s release, and the sheriff’s department would not handle the cash at all.
    Peak and commissioners discussed that the sheriff’s office would foot the up-front costs, and the prisoners’ funds would not touch the county’s funds with the system in place.
    Peak also reported on a speed study on 600th Avenue between U.S. Highway 69 and 190th Road.
    He said the road is in good condition to support the current 50 mile-per-hour speed, but he recommended expanding a 40 mile-per-hour zone that encompasses a residential area.
    “Our recommendation is not necessarily to change the speeds, but to change the speed zones,” Peak said.
    “I agree with you, Dan,” said commission chairman Tom Moody. “I think that would suffice and take care of the problem we’re seeing.”
    In other business,
    Commissioners approved a request from Fire District 1 to purchase two tanker trucks for $382,928 from Midwest Fire and Equipment. These will replace two that are 32 years old.
    Janis Goedeke, county health officer, said she had requested $375,265.97 in Aid to Local grant funds, including funds for child care licensing, healthy families, maternal and child health, teen pregnancy targeted case management, immunization action plan and Ryan White programs.
    Page 2 of 2 - “This is what I asked for,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that’s what I am going to get.”
    Goedeke also said the health department was given zoning board permission to light up its electric sign.
    She also said a statewide weight loss challenge has been a success for the area.
    “I am pretty excited about our local group,” Goedeke said. “We are missing a couple people in Crawford County because we have lost 367 pounds in Crawford County.”
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