“The programs that we are trying to put in place, doing the things the right way, would have eliminated those deaths in our jail, because those individuals would have been placed back in the community, back to their jobs, back to their homes, where they could have sought proper medical care,” Broady said. “What we are trying to do is take two to three years and reduce it down to 90 days, the stay people have in our criminal justice system.”
The positions are being partially funded on a temporary basis out of roughly $276,000 of the $132 million in CARES Act money that the federal government awarded to the county in 2020.
Broady is expect to request that the county permanently fund the positions, which also include two legal administrative specialists, two investigators and a criminal intelligence analyst, when commissioners approve the fiscal 2022 budget that begins in October.
Gambrill argued that it wasn’t appropriate to use federal CARES Act funds — intended to alleviate the economic hardship due to the pandemic — for expenses that would become permanent. That type of spending would lead to shortfalls, Gambrill said.
“Essentially this board is setting us up for another $30, $60, $90 million deficit,” Gambrill said.