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Halifax County Sheriff Tyree Davis says he is appreciative of the support he is receiving as the county addresses the current conditions at the detention center.

“We strongly support and appreciate anything the county can do to help in resolving the decades-old discussion concerning a new or completely renovated jail in Halifax County,” he said Tuesday in response to questions by rrspin. “I realize that talking about a new jail is not something the average citizen and taxpayer wants or even cares to talk about.”

Unlike schools, parks, and other facilities, the sheriff said, “The jail is something that not every citizen or taxpayer will use on a daily basis – We hope anyway.”

Davis said it is to the point where the facility is old and parts to fix it are just not available any longer. “Even the greatest maintenance crew in the world, like the one we have here in Halifax County, can only do so much.  Our dedicated and hard-working staff and the inmates they supervise need some resolution, and they need it soon.”

The sheriff said, “We are confident county management is doing everything they can by asking Washington and Raleigh for help. I would like to thank Commissioner (Sammy) Webb and Superior Court Judge (Brenda) Branch for taking the time to come see for themselves what this is all about. I respect and appreciate the work being done by county management and the commissioners that serve the wonderful citizens of our county.”

During Monday’s board meeting Webb discussed the tour he and Branch took last month with Davis and Jail Administrator Scott Hall.

It was at this meeting where Webb introduced a motion to seek help from the county’s state legislative delegation in addition to financial assistance the county is already seeking from United States Congressman Don Davis.

Webb’s discussion of the tour and the effort to seek state assistance came after the board approved an interlocal agreement with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office to house inmates there.

“We can house a maximum of 85,” Davis said. “Anything above that we have to send inmates to other counties to await trial or for confinement when convicted in court and the sentence is ordered served in the county jail.”

The sheriff’s office houses inmates in the following facilities at a rate of $50 per inmate per day: Bladen, Dare, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Hertford, Nash, Northampton, Sampson, and Robeson.

The agreement with Wayne County brings the total to 11 detention centers in which the county can send inmates.

Lieutenant Shane Guyant said the rate to house juveniles and adults in either the state Department of Juvenile Justice and Detention and the state Department of Adult Correction – for safekeeping and medical reasons – varies on a case by case basis.

In fiscal year 2020-2021 the county spent $321,360 to house its inmates in other facilities. In FY 2021-2022 the figure was $475,820. In the current fiscal year which ends on June 30 the county has spent $308,303 thus far.

These figures do not include any additional health care costs that may have occurred, nor does it account for transportation costs, Guyant said.