The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, December 6, 1988, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: C. W. "Chick" Gregg, Chairman; Thomas J. Windram; Richard Swartz; Michael J. Bakich; and Don Bailey. Others present were: Christopher C. Ford, County Attorney; James C. Watkins, Clerk; Michael C. Willett, County Administrator: Katherine A. McDonald, Assistant County Administrator; Robert K. McKee, Chief Deputy Clerk; and Linda Springston, Deputy Clerk.
James C. Watkins, Clerk, gave the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commr. Bailey.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/COURTS-JUDGES/JAILS
Mr. Pete Karamitsanis, Helmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, appeared before the Board to discuss the new Lake County Criminal Justice/Jail Facility project.
Mr. Bob Buchanan, Correctional Services Group, Inc., appeared before the Board to discuss his involvement in the project, which began in 1984, and give a brief review of what has transpired to this point.
Mr. Buchanan discussed six factors which project the inmate population; such as, census projection, public attitude, crime trends, policy changes, judiciary results, and criminal justice system policies.
Mr. Buchanan stated that a study was made regarding how many of the Lake County prisoners can be in dormitory-style or double-bunked cells, since it is too costly to design the facility consisting of all single cells.
Mr. Buchanan discussed various types of criminals, the types of cells that inmates should be in, and how certain inmates should be separated.
Mr. Buchanan suggested building a jail which will accommodate an additional floor, vertically, if needed, Eor future expansion. He also suggested another alternative, such as, the development of a work stockade, in which inmates would provide service to the community.
Mr. Buchanan noted that, under the Cooperative Agreement Program, some of the surrounding counties may utilize some of the excess cells, at a cost to that county.
Mr. Buchanan stated that, if Lake County were to contract with the Federal Government for jail beds, it could be for any type of bed.
Mr. Buchanan informed the Board, that in order to arrive at the current projections of jail population, the historical status of the inmate population had to be observed, which consisted of, mostly, arrested bookings. He stated that, he also had to observe the average peak factor of the inmate population, and the management classification factor. He added that these projections are updated on an annual basis.
Mr. Buchanan discussed the original projections, for a 600 single cell jail, with 400 of the cells capable of double-bunking, adding that the laundry and kitchen areas were sized for an 1,000 inmate population.
Mr. Karamitsanis stated that the current projections are for 412 single cells, and 256 expandable dormitory-style cells, which includes 28 medical cells, and houses a total of 668 inmates, with a maximum capacity of 1,052 beds.
Mr. Mike McCabe, Barton Malow, recommended that the Board leave all of their options open for future expansion.
Mr. Buchanan stated that his estimated projections for the year 1990 are for approximately 450-500 beds.
Mr. Buchanan informed the Board that there are significant differences in staffing single versus dormitory-style cells, in that, it takes fewer staff to operate the dormitory-style cells.
Judge Ernest C. Aulls, Jr., Chief Circuit Judge, stated that whether the cells are double-bunked or dormitory-style, the projection of a minimum of 500 inmates for the year 1990, is low, and he estimates approximately 800 inmates in the year 1995, and in 1O-12 years the jail population could be higher.
Judge Aulls informed the Board that he has explored the concept of work camps, which are for sentenced prisoners. He stated that the single cells become holding cells for State prisoners, which are held approximately 53 days, while they are waiting for disposition.
Mr. Gary Cooney, Senior Law Clerk for the District Circuit, presented information to the Board regarding jail population statistics, based upon data received from the Sheriff's Department, the Clerk's Office, and the Public Defender's Office.
Mr. Cooney discussed the average daily population of the jail, the total criminal cases filed with the Clerk, per day and per year, and the total new cases handled by the Public Defender, per day and per year. He noted that the number of prisoners currently being released on their own recognizance, as a result of the restructured sentencing policies of the judiciary, instituted to ease jail crowding, would also affect the growth population estimate of the jail.
Judge Aulls informed the Board that the courts frequently release would be inmates, because there is not enough space, and they are often back 20 days later.
Judge Aulls stated that 82 percent of the present jail inmate population are awaiting disposition; and that the average turnover time for felony cases is 53 days, which is approximately the lowest in the State of Florida. He also stated that, Lake County's case filings have increased to the extent that the county has gone from the third highest, to the highest of caseload filings, per judge, in the circuit.
Judge Aulls noted that the judges in Lake County must follow the State Supreme Court guidelines, which implements the time which may elapse before the case must be brought before the judge, and that the judges in this circuit have only l-6 cases, which have extended beyond the guidelines.
Mr. Buchanan discussed the administrative functions of the facility and the space required for each. He stated that, there is not as much room for additional growth in these areas.
Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, stated that, there will be an overall space study of the new jail, the old jail, the old courthouse, and of the offices within the courthouse which have been relocated, to determine the space available in order to relocate some of the other county departments.
Mr. Watkins suggested that, the Jail Task Force Committee study what space in the new Criminal Justice/Jail Facility could be eliminated, should the cost of the facility exceed the monies available.
Mr. Buchanan discussed the concept of vertical expansion for the facility. He noted that it is costly, and disruptive to offices which are already completed and in service. He also noted that, of most of the buildings he has seen which were planned For vertical expansion in the future, it is usually not carried through.
Mr. Karamitsanis noted that the basic design of the new Criminal Justice/Jail Facility was to minimize the movement of prisoners within the building.
Commissioner Gregg emphasized the fact that the main objective of this facility is that it be easily maintained and cost effective.
Mr. Karamitsanis requested from the Board, concurrence and approval to continue on the facility, in order to maintain the existing schedule of the building.
Mr. Karamitsanis stated that the necessary documents are being prepared as if the facility were going to be completely finished, which, in fact, there will be unfinished space which will be included in the specifications, as add alternates.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Windram and carried unanimously, the Board approved to proceed with the facility as planned, and work with the Jail Task Force Committee to revise space requirements at the appropriate time.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, a motion was made by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, to adjourn the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 10:45 a.m.
C. W. "CHICK" GREGG, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK