Sheriff: Green Co. cannot currently house female inmates

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Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 11:11 AM CDT
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MONROE, Wis. (WMTV) - The Green Co. Sheriff’s Office transferred half its female inmates to a neighboring county and released the other half with electronic monitoring because the jail is currently unable to house any women.

The plan currently affects eight women. Of that total, the four who were let out were all eligible for Huber privileges. In announcing the transfers, Sheriff Jeff Skatrud noted that he does not expect his jail will be able to hold any women for months, likely into next year. The sheriff attributed the moves to a lack of female staff and the design of the decades-old jail.

He explained any women who are arrested will be booked in Green Co. before being moved to Dodgeville. Each inmate housed in Iowa Co. will cost the county between $50 and $60 per day, plus any medical or transportation costs, the Sheriff’s Office noted. Skatrud attributed the need to move or release the inmates to an inability to staff the jail with women deputies.

Because of overall staffing issues within the Sheriff’s Office, they have had to operate the jail with mandatory minimum number of deputies: two per shift, he continued.

Skatrud pointed out that the deputies have been working overtime to do maintain the staffing levels they do have. At times, however, the two deputies would have to be men and gender-specific tasks mean they would not be able to handle some responsibilities.

“Green County is not alone in experiencing staffing challenges” he wrote in the statement. “The lack of applicants for law enforcement positions is a challenge for most counties and municipalities in the State of Wisconsin.”

The Sheriff’s Office is working to hire more deputies. Even if enough women were hired tomorrow, though, they would still have to complete a training period that lasts four to five months.

Earlier this week, the Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office revealed plans to move some of its inmates to jails as far away as Oneida Co. Its plan was motivated by Sheriff Kalvin Barrett’s decision to close the east section of the seventh floor of the current jail, which he said did not offer inmates safe and humane jail space. Reflecting what Skatrud said, Barrett also cited staffing as a concern for his county.

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