|Keeping jail safe is sheriff's goal|
LAWRENCEVILLE - Law enforcement throughout Lawrence County is as busy as ever, but fewer arrests are being made.
In an effort to keep the Lawrence County Jail as safe as possible for prisoners during the coronavirus outbreak, Lawrence County sheriff Russell Adams says arrests are being kept to a minimum.
"We're trying to keep our jail quarantined," the veteran sheriff said. "We do take prisoners, but they have to meet a criteria."
Since March 15, only three prisoners have been locked up, and one of them was quickly released. On March 19, Bridgeport police arrested Alvin Sweet, 34, Evansville, Indiana, on a charge of domestic battery. A day later, the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department arrested Alex James Blake Webb, 31, Lawrenceville, on multiple charges, including domestic battery. On March 22, Lawrenceville police arrested Ryan Michael Harrison, 35, Lawrenceville, on charges of battery and criminal trespass to residence. He was later released on $200 bond.
Those arrested on felony charges, or higher level misdemeanors such as domestic battery, will still land behind bars.
For less serious offenses, such as driving while your license is suspended and even DUI, those who are arrested will be notice to appear, before being let go on bond.
"You'll go to the booking room and get booked," said Adams. "Then you'll be given a notice to appear."
The current policy, according to Adams, comes at the suggestion of Lawrence County State's Attorney Michael M. Strange.
As of Monday morning, the population of the Lawrence Count Jail was at 11 - 10 men and a woman. Seven of those inmates were taken into custody during the month of March. The longest-standing inmate at the jail was taken into custody on Oct. 7.
Adams stresses that he and his staff are still on the job, 24 hours a day.
"We're still here, and we're still answering calls," he said. "If there are people out there who are elderly, and need to be checked on, we'll still do that. We're doing everything we can to make sure that everybody is safe."