By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON — —
A timeline is in place for the new medical services to begin at the Jefferson County Justice Center, a move aimed at regaining Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees.
According to Jefferson County Sheriff Roger Mulch, orientation meetigs with Advanced Correctional Healthcare will be held on Feb. 28,. The orientation will allow ACH to present an overview of its service and a medical plan for the corrections staff.
The County Board approved an agreement with ACH in January, and ICE was briefed on progress of regaining medical services at the Justice Center.
The county lost its ICE detainees in December due to a lack of medical services. Mulch and the county board have been working to regain the ICE detainees, which amounted to about 30 percent of the county's budgeted revenue.
"We're gearing up for March 4," Mulch told members of the Public Safety Committee on Wednesday. "That's when ACH goes online live. There will be an ICE inspection after that."
Mulch said ACH is working with ICE at this time and a meeting with the federal officials is being set up.
"We want to get all the heads together, sit down together and talk," Mulch said. "With the structure that is taking place, we need to move forward and know what we need to do to get the detainees back."
Mulch said a date will be set for the inspection and assessment by ICE to take place after March 4.
"They will look at our operation and ACH policy and procedures as well as ours and make sure it meets ICE needs," Mulch said. "The inspection will take a while, four to five hours, and once they do the assessment, it will be forwarded the Chicago field office and Washington, D.C., then we should be able to put warm bodies back in the jail."
Mulch said the plan is to have ICE detainees back at the Jefferson County Justice Center and "in 10 to 14 days be back where we were," Mulch said. "That's the target, the mission, right there. "
According to the monthly report on the Justice Center, ICE has paid its total bill for the previous detainees, with $516,822.80 collected since Dec. 12, 2012. The total amount received for housing detainees this year is $532,100.33; local funds collected this year through Jan. 31, is $30,883.08; and all fees and services collected by the Sheriff's Office and Corrections was $562,983.41 through the end of January.
The average daily county population at the Justice Center for January was 88 county detainees; three out-of-county detainees for a total average daily population of 91 inmates.