County jail improvements paying off

Published 10:40 pm Monday, December 31, 2007

By Staff
It's funny how barbed wire fences, armed guards and the exposure of a smack-in-the-middle of downtown location still don't deter folks who want to break the law.
But the Escambia County Jail - in addition to keeping up with its own inmates - often has to deal with people trying to commit crimes on or near the property. That was the case Thursday when a teenaged suspect allegedly tried to drop some drugs into the exercise yard, only to be chased down Belleville Avenue before he was arrested with the woman allegedly driving his getaway car.
The Escambia County Jail has made headlines for controversy lately - most recently for a lawsuit filed by an inmate who claims he suffered life-threatening injuries in a fight there - but Thursday's foot chase shows that despite some problems in the past, the jail has made many changes and improvements.
Those began in large part with money for new locks and new employees, funded by the hosting of federal prisoners at the jail. New fencing and better security have also been part of the equation.
No one is perfect - and the Escambia County Sheriff's Department and jail certainly don't deal on a regular basis with perfect people. We can expect this kind of criminal behavior outside and inside the jail, simply because it's human nature.
But the sheriff's department has taken steps to crack down on contraband and to improve security.
So folks might want to think about that next time they're tempted to throw something over the fence. You'd better have some good running shoes and a good lawyer - or better sense.