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Marathon County jail study panel presents findings to the public


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - The Marathon County jail study panel released their final report to the county this morning at a press conference at the sheriff's department.

Panel Chair Paul Jones outlined the 226 page report, saying that the sheriff's department has already started working on issues that were brought up during the review process over the last three months. "We don't want people to think we were withholding findings beginning in April until some time of implementation in July. There's some things that have changed immediately that have had an excellent impact."

On an overall basis, the panel is looking to reform the policies and procedures in the jail, improve technology and facilities, rework the way the administration communicates with staff, and work to reduce overcrowding and increase staffing levels. Sheriff Scott Parks says these are all workable goals. "Most of the changes we are looking at are already under budget or we can do without much of a cost factors."

Jones says the panel's recommendation shouldn't be taken as a shopping list though, or to be looked at as a detriment to the county. "It's not an increase in the cost of running the facility, it's an increase in what you were paying to run it poorly."

We've got a copy of the report attached to this story.