Monroe County sheriff sends update on efforts to clean, sanitize jail

Late Wednesday afternoon, Monroe County sheriff Ruben Marté released an update on efforts to clean up the jail facility.

The emailed update was sent to county councilors, county commissioners, members of the community justice response committee, and several other community members.

The update included a link to several before-after photos of: J Block, which is the jail’s new mental health dormitory; the intake room; and the sally port, which is where prisoners are taken into the jail.

The focus of current cleaning efforts is on D Block, according to Marté’s update.

As a positive step forward, Marté’s update cites the county council’s creation of a new position at the jail, the facility coordinator, who will be responsible for keeping the jail in a clean and sanitary condition. The council’s approval of that position, and an additional $40,000 appropriation for cleaning and painting materials, came at the county council’s Tuesday meeting.

Marté wrote: “The council’s rock-solid support has been crucial in this effort and is much appreciated.”

Marté’s message continued, “With your continued support, my staff remains committed to transitioning this facility from what we all saw on January 23 to a clean, sanitary and safe place for staff and residents. We will continue to keep you posted.”

The reference to Jan. 23 was to a slide presentation that Marté made at that day’s meeting of the community justice response committee (CJRC) meeting. The slides showed the bad conditions that  Marté found at the jail after taking office at the start of the year.

The CJRC working on the question of where and how to build a new jail facility.

The conclusion that a new jail facility is needed for Monroe County is based on the work of two consultants,  who delivered two studies of Monroe County’s criminal justice system, which were delivered 20 months ago, in June 2021.

The RJS report  states: “The jail facility is incapable of consistently ensuring and sustaining constitutional levels of inmate care and custody.”

Since taking office at the start of the year, Marté has stressed the need to improve the conditions in the jail for those who are incarcerated there now and for the next few years, even while planning to build a new facility.

J Block

From Marté’s update:

In Folder 1 are photos of J Block (our new mental health dormitory) after our restorative/sanitation efforts. I have also included a few photos of how the blocks looked prior. J block currently houses 20 of our most vulnerable residents who would benefit from a calming environment. The color scheme for this block was designed by our mental health professionals to facilitate this to the extent possible. Chief Deputy Parker visited this dormitory yesterday and found the inmates resting and quiet. This is quite unusual for this segment of our population as they are usually in a state of heightened anxiety. We are hoping this new environment will continue to help these residents find some measure of peace during their stay with us.


From Marté’s update:

In Folder 2 are before and after photos of our intake room. This is the room between the sally port and the jail proper where every individual being processed into the facility enters. In a nutshell, this small area is one of the highest use areas of the facility. As such, it is imperative this area be sanitized regularly. The previous condition of this area did not permit proper sanitation. We are now able to fully sanitize this area regularly.

Sally port

From Marté’s update:

In Folder 3 are the before and after photos of the sally port area. As you recall, this area posed numerous safety concerns due to its initial design. This area has been widened to help prevent vehicle strikes on the walls when maneuvering large transport vehicles though as well as additional lighting added to improve visibility. Yellow paint also highlights certain areas to enhance driver awareness.

5 thoughts on “Monroe County sheriff sends update on efforts to clean, sanitize jail

  1. Just an idea furnish flip flops for them to wear. No shoes laces to use as a weapon. It makes it harder to run. This will help keep the stairs and walkways cleaner. Maybe reward good people to be able to wear and do work duties. My dad was a mechanic for the ISP post in Pendleton and he had trustee to work at the Post.

    1. They are furnished flip flops that double as shower shoes. There is a trustee dorm as well.

  2. It is so refreshing to have a Sheriff who understands the need to attend to mental health

  3. Relief yes! and a sheriff who isn’t cowed by three county commissioners. i have been watching the meetings on CATS and the three all appear to have ascended to their level of incompetence. “who is we, i am the elected official here, here is my dream list for a new jail”.

    Monroe County Democrats, we can do better!!

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