Commission to ask for change in legislation

Published 8:46 pm Wednesday, June 10, 2020

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The Covington County Commission recently approved to adopt a resolution to send to the state legislature to change the administration fee at the Covington County Jail from $30 to $40.

Five dollars from the changed fee will go directly to the Covington County Child Advocacy.

“I appreciated the County Commission offering to help offset the expenses we will incur trying to collect this money for the Sheriff, but the truth is, those kids need it more,” District attorney Walt Merrell said. “The children that the CAC helps are the most vulnerable of our kids and we must do everything we can to help them. I can’t thank the Commissioners enough for agreeing to use this money to help those kids.”

Covington County Sheriff Blake Turman said the fee will bring a lot of money into the general fund for law enforcement.

“Generally we take in about 3,000 inmates a year,” Turman said. “That doesn’t mean that 3,000 people are getting convicted by any means, but I would say 80 to 90 percent of those folks will be convicted of their crimes.”

Merrell said funding for the CAC is relatively low at the moment.

“The CAC’s mission is to provide medical, therapeutic and psychological treatment to children who are victims of physical abuse, sex abuse or neglect,” Merrell said. “The CAC is a non-profit and when we founded it, all we had was children who need our help.  We didn’t have funding, and we don’t have much funding now.  So this will help. This money will be used to pay for counseling and therapy for those child victims.”

With the approval, the resolution will be sent to the state legislature to be voted upon during a special session in September.