April 23, 2010
Jail Population Declines in FY10
At its meeting on Tuesday, the Board discussed the inmate population in the Mecklenburg County Jail, particularly federal inmates. Currently, the average number of federal inmates housed in the jail is 463. Last year, the average daily population of federal inmates was 501. Overall this fiscal year, the average daily population of the Mecklenburg County Jail is on pace to be at its lowest level in five years. Through the first nine months of FY10, the jail averaged 2,291 inmates per day, which is 7% lower than last fiscal year and 16% less than the peak year of FY07. Therefore, the overall reduction in jail population is affected by more than the reduced number of federal inmates. Staff is analyzing jail population data to identify what is driving the reduction in the jail population and whether this is a temporary situation or a sustainable trend.
Functional capacity of the Mecklenburg County Jail is 85% of the total number of beds available. This threshold allows for safe segregation of inmates by gender, age, and risk level. Based on the number of beds in the jail, our functional capacity is 2,540 inmates. Therefore, despite the decrease in jail population, the daily average number of inmates is often close to the functional capacity level of the detention facility. In fact, if we had not opened the temporary Sprung structure that added 320 beds, the functional capacity of the jail would be exceeded often.
The Board’s Criminal Justice Committee will receive a report on jail population trends at its May 5 meeting.
Board members with questions should contact General Manager Michelle Lancaster via email or 704-336-2621.
Opportunity Project Off to Strong Start
A few weeks after initial job application fairs at Founders Hall, the Department of Social Services (DSS) and its five job-training partners have registered 88 employers to participate in The Opportunity Project. The goal is to generate and fill 500 jobs by September 30. So far, 201 jobs have been identified in a variety of sectors, including child care, health care, education, manufacturing, sales and community agencies.
The Opportunity Project matches TANF-eligible residents with jobs funded by federal stimulus grant dollars. More than 1,000 residents have been deemed eligible so far, creating a large pool of candidates from which employers can choose. Jobs that employers need filled include child care assistants, certified nursing assistants, teachers, warehousing associates, customer service representatives and administrative assistants.
Interested residents may be screened for The Opportunity Project eligibility at DSS’s Billingsley Road and Freedom Drive locations Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Board members with questions should contact Social Services Director Mary Wilson via email or 704-336-6276.
- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager
Monday, April 26
- 7:30 am meeting with Mecklenburg County State Legislative Delegation and Court Officials, RM 267, CMGC
Tuesday, April 27
- 3 pm, Special Called meeting with Board of Education, RM 267, CMGC