Last updated: May 21. 2014 9:22AM - 470 Views
By Megan Kennedy mkennedy@civitasmedia.com

Preble County Commissioners Denise Robertson and David Wesler recognize the 4H extension for 100 years of work with Christy Millhouse.
Preble County Commissioners Denise Robertson and David Wesler recognize the 4H extension for 100 years of work with Christy Millhouse.
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A milestone for the Preble County 4H program was honored at the Preble County Commissioners meeting, Wednesday, May 14.

Christy Millhouse, of the Preble County 4H program, received a letter from the Commissioners congratulating the Ohio Extension of the 4H program on their 100 year anniversary of cooperative extension, which spans all over the United States, for the State of Ohio, the milestone is recognized in each county.

Major Joe Renner with the Preble County Sheriff’s Office spoke regarding the now-approved commissary system for current inmates at the Preble County Jail. This system will allow inmates to have access to various items such as toiletries. Staff at the Sheriff’s Office will regulate the usage of the machines. The commissary system will issue the inmates a “debit card.” The card will allow inmates to manage funds themselves, as well as allow family members to transfer money onto the card, if they choose to do so.

“They will use that debit card to make purchases, they will buy their phone time. Now when they buy phone cards, it’s cumbersome, it’s expensive … currently, if an inmate buys a phone card, and gets out, he’s stuck with that phone card … they’ll get to buy phone time through this kiosk, the other good thing, is when they get released, if they have phone time left, it gets accredited right back to them, and they’ll get their money back as they leave the jail, so it’s a clean transaction,” said Major Renner. “If [the commissary system] doesn’t work, we’ll stop it.”

However, those at the Sheriff’s Office do not believe the inmates will treat the kiosks poorly, as there are consequences with poor behavior.

The system will track repeat-offenders. If money is owed to the Sheriff’s Office, booking fees, release fees, medication, etc., the repeat offender will owe the Sheriff’s Office upfront, once they have returned to the Preble County Jail.

Major Renner confessed he and his staff have been adjusting to the change, making the system available to offenders, “Because well, they’re in jail,” he said. “Once we got past that … we feel like they should pay for their stuff.”

“I think we’re saving a lot of manual time, here,” said Commissioner Denise Robertson. “It all sounds good.”

Monies gained by the Sheriff’s Office will be used in the general fund to purchase mattresses, uniforms, etc. for inmates.

Sales tax will apply to items in the vending machines.

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