The Jackson County jail

Jackson County Corrections Director resigns

Joe Piccinini to step down amid growing problems at the jail

Bill Grady
December 01, 2017 - 1:40 pm
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Director of the Jackson County Department of Corrections Joe Piccinini is out.  He turned in his letter of resignation to county leaders on Thursday night.  

The assistant director of corrections, Diana Turner, has been named interim director until a permanent replacement can be found.  

Jackson County Executive Frank White held a news conference Friday afternoon, where he made the announcement.  

"He [Piccinini] really felt that he just didn't want to be in a position where things weren't getting done and he felt that it would be in his best interest and the best interest of the county that we look for new leadership going forward," White said.

"He inherited a facility that was really in a downward trend, where it was infrastucture-wise."

The jail has been inundated with complaints and problems.  Most recently, a guard was savagely beaten for 8 minutes by a inmate. The corrections officer suffered critical injuries to his head and face.  His condition is improving.  

When questioned about the attack, Piccinini told legislators that the surveillance camera feeds are not monitored constantly.  

On November 14, White announced a new jail task force to look into problems at the jail, focusing primarily on current maintenance and staffing costs, future needs, recidivism prevention measures, and to consider the pros and cons of building a new jail or renovating the current facility. 

Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker announced earlier this week that she could no longer serve on the task force, citing the guard's beating. She said action shoud be taken immediately, instead of waiting another six months to study the problems further.

 

This story has been updated to show that Piccinini resigned Thursday night.

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