WINTERSET, Iowa -- Madison County has reason to celebrate for a job well done by its jail. The county jail has been recognized as being among the "Best of the Best" at meeting and exceeding jail standards in Iowa.
According to the Iowa Department of Corrections:
"At the annual banquet held by the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies’ Association (ISSDA) on December 1, 2018, Iowa Dept. of Corrections (IDOC) recognized six different counties as being among the “Best of the Best” at meeting and exceeding jail standards in Iowa. The determination for the awardees was made by IDOC Chief Jail Inspector, Delbert Longley, with the assistance of the ISSDA. The following counties were recognized as the 2018 award winners:
Small jails: Madison and Shelby counties
Medium jails: Iowa and Sioux counties
Large jails: Dubuque and Marshall counties
Jail Standards are the minimums that are required as set forth by Iowa Code and best practices. The awards program is designed to recognize jails that go above and beyond the minimum, developing a professional culture in their facility. Criteria by which each jail facility is rated include but not limited to cleanliness, facility management, maintenance, documentation, professionalism, feedback of prisoners, major improvements, and overall operations of the jail.
After the fiscal year 2017-18 inspection cycle was completed, ISSDA and DOC representatives reviewed the findings and selected two jails from each division of small jails, up to 25 beds; medium jails, 26-100 beds; and large jails, over 100 beds. The competition was very strong, with several jails being in consideration for this award. This was not an easy task to select the winners. The jails that have been selected as the “Best of the Best” were announced at the ISSDA Jail School in September."
On Thursday, WHO-TV Channel 13 News got an inside look at the Madison County Jail. Jailer John Weakland said the operation of the facility is like well-oiled machine.
"I suppose just...keeping people coming in and out, making sure their needs are met," said Weakland. "Try to treat the inmates fairly and, you know, we feed them well, and just kinda consistent with how we run the rules and keep the jail...clean."
Sheriff Jason Barnes gives the credit to the staff.
"Real good for the staff back there," said Sheriff Barnes. "I mean, they did it all. They`re real good. We got the same problems that every other jail has and I just think you get the right people in the right spots back there, you get your right leadership, things happen. Good things happen."