Continued monitoring at jail a good idea

Continued oversight at the Ward County Jail is a good decision.

While Ward County recently asserted that the supervision was going to come to an end, the state decision that supervision was going to continue for up to a year makes sense, given the situation that led to the oversight and given the jail expansion under way.

The lack of professionalism at Ward County Jail was an embarrassment to the county and to the community. The death of an inmate was a violation of the public trust. In a year’s time, it is hard to know if the wholesale change at the jail needed has happened.

Furthermore, construction of the jail expansion is well under way and the staff responsibilities there will increase dramatically with a higher population. Make no mistake, the jail will fill up fast.

You can’t build anything great on a shaky foundation. An improper culture can be as damaging to the jail’s foundation as improper training and oversight of staff. Only time can tell if there has been any improvement in the culture at Ward County Jail.

Until such time as it is clear that the jail can function within the framework of guidelines and of appropriate behavior by staff, it simply must remain under constant scrutiny.

The public deserves as much.