Unruly inmates get ‘the chair’
By Sparta Live | March 31, 2008 12:00 am
A new tool has found a home at the White County Jail for those inmates who “misbehave and cause problems,” said Sheriff Oddie Shoupe – a restraint chair.
While the restraint chair has not been used as of yet because the entire staff must complete an instructional seminar on the proper use of the device, Shoupe said he hopes it deters some of the vandalism to jail property and alleviates some of the needless costs to the county.
According to Shoupe, inmates have broken numerous windows, attempted to flush towels down the commode and caused destruction to a variety of other property at the jail. These items must then be replaced or repaired at the expense of the taxpayers. Shoupe said the chair would be used as a punishment for inmates who “cause major problems.”
“They [the inmates] are not going to be mistreated,” said Shoupe, “but we are not going to allow any inmate to destroy county property and cost the taxpayers money to repair the jail. And they are not going to mistreat the correction officers, spit in their face and cause chaos in the facility.”
Shoupe and Maj. Jim Baker, jail administrator, said correction officers are spit on, kicked at, and often have to try to control inmates while “they are not exactly on their best behavior.”
“With the training, a complete policy and procedure manual is being created, to set down which actions will dictate the use of the time-out chair,” said Shoupe. “This is a jail, and they are here to serve out a court appointed sentence as punishment.”
Shoupe also said White County Jail follows the standards set by law providing all necessary items, but does not “baby the prisoners.”
“When they come here, they better not expect a free pass,” said Shoupe. “We provide nutritious meals, but if they don’t like spinach, too bad, it is on the menu quite often, because it is good for you.”