Processing over14,000 individuals in 2016, Sheriff Karl Leonard took the opportunity to show the Chesterfield NAACP legal redress committee how the jail manages these vast numbers. Last Friday,the sheriff along with Captain Eric Jones escorted eight members of the branch on a full tour of the county facilities.
Sheriff Leonard first demonstrated where violators are processed, allowed their phone call, and prepared for incarceration, if needed. While the health of every inmate is of great concern, Jail Medical Director Dr. G. Mantovani Gay led the group through the second floor medical center which included three exam rooms, an isolation room, and a staff of three nurses.
The tour continued to the sheriff’s signature program targeting and treating heroin addicts. Conversing with over 30 program inmates, branch members learned from inmates Archie, Milton, Richard, and Roy that heroin was cheap, easy to find on the streets, and difficult to resist drug of choice.
After entering the patrol room, which overlooked four pods (inmate housing units of 30 to 35 inmates), the group learned how meals were prepared. Food Service Director Chafonya Collins explained how she and her staff prepared three meals daily for over 320 inmates to include vegetarian and kosher meals.
The sheriff continued the tour by taking the group through the industrial laundry room, isolation cells, and the logistic room where deputy supplies were stored. Entering the Work Force Delta unit, the NAACP was able to directly speak with the short-term inmates on the jail conditions, voter registration, and affiliation with a local church.
In order to address the concerns of county residents who could not attend the tour, Sheriff Leonard has agreed to give a presentation at the Chesterfield NAACP meeting at 7 p.m April 18.