Joint Jail Committee looks at new software program

May 16, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - The software on computers at the Boyle County Detention Center must be replaced - and soon.

At their regular monthly meeting, members of the Joint Jail Committee considered a software package described in brochures from Evercom.

Evercom proposes replacing the Law Enforcement Management Systems with a new program, Jail Administration Management Systems. LEMS will only be supported by the company until the end of the fiscal year.

Boyle County Jailer Barry Harmon said eight jails in the state are using JEMS and he has gotten different reactions from the jailers. Harmon said the Shelby County jail was the "guinea pig" for the new software.

He said it takes between 5-8 minutes to book an inmate in the Danville lockup, but Shelby County reported that 10 minutes was a fast booking with the new software


Purchasing and financing the software Evercom would cost a one-time charge of $12,366. That money is for professional services and an up-front cost. The total subscription fee would be $1,228 a month. The monthly charge includes updates, enhancements and support. Over the 31-month life of the proposal, Evercom would receive $38,068.

The monthly fee would come out of the commission the jail now receives for telephone use by inmates. The jail receives in the neighborhood of $3,600 per month in commissions.

Total coast would be about $50,000

The total cost of the software would be about $50,000. Harmon told the committee that a decision on new software will have to be made at the committee's next meeting. Harmon was instructed by the committee to look into other software and other places it can be purchased.

Boyle County Judge-Executive Tony Wilder said he thinks the monthly charge from Evercom probably includes a finance charge of 18 percent.

The committee is made up of the county judge-executives and county attorneys of Boyle and Mercer counties and the Boyle County jailer, all of whom are voting members. The treasurers of the two counties, Mary Lynn of Boyle County, and Gayle Horn of Mercer County, are non-voting members.

The jail operations are financed by the two counties based on each county's percentage of jail population. This year the split has been 64 percent for Boyle County and 36 percent for Mercer. However in the last few months, Mercer County's population has risen to 38 percent.

Harmon said he has spoken with jailers across the nation and all say crime is up and so is their jails' populations. The Boyle County Detention Center was built for 174 beds, but the average daily population was 197 for April.

In looking at the financial statement, Mercer County Judge-Executive John Trisler said the monthly losses were lower and have been lower the last three months as opposed to earlier months and he credited Harmon for that. Red figures have averaged about $28,000, when loses in earlier months of this fiscal year ran from $52,000 to $272,000.

"We appreciate that in many ways," Trisler said.

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