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Kendall County Sheriff’s new jail plan limits layoffs to one corrections deputy

YORKVILLE – There would be one corrections deputy at the Kendall County jail to be directly laid off under Sheriff Dwight Baird’s budget plan for Fiscal Year 2023.

Baird told the Kendall County Board on Sept. 7 that 11 jail guard positions would be eliminated at a savings of about $670,000 as part of his budget proposal.

The county would save an additional $444,000 in employee benefits and insurance costs that are not part of the sheriff’s budget, Undersheriff Bobby Richardson said.

A combination of recent resignations, retirements and vacancies, along with the transfer of three jail guards to duty as patrol officers, means that only one corrections deputy would be laid off, Richardson said.

Baird noted that discussions are on-going with the union representing the deputies.

The sheriff presented the county board with a $4.9 million corrections budget, part of a larger $12.1 million spending plan that also includes patrol operations, courthouse security and record-keeping.

The spending plan now goes to the county board’s finance committee for further review. The county’s 2023 budget year begins on Dec. 1.

The south wing of the jail would be closed, reducing the lock-up’s capacity to 105 beds from the current 203.

Earlier this summer, Baird proposed closing the jail entirely and transporting prisoners to the Kane County jail in St. Charles. That plan would have involved the elimination of 31 corrections deputy positions.

Baird soon revised that plan to include closure of only the south wing, eliminating 13 corrections deputy posts and reducing the number of federal prisoners being housed at the jail to 20.

That plan would have resulted in the direct layoff off eight corrections deputies.

The revised proposal also included transporting female prisoners to the Kane lock-up, which, like the limit of 20 federal prisoners, was included in the budget plan presented to the board.

Baird is seeking to scale back jail operations because of a declining inmate population and in anticipation of the state’s new cashless bail system which takes effect Jan. 1, 2023 and is expected to further reduce the number of prisoners.

Currently, there are about 50 to 60 inmates from Kendall County being held in the Yorkville jail.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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