The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Detention Division is the second largest Division in the Sheriff’s Office and serves the public safety interests of Columbia County. The Columbia County Detention Facility is responsible for the intake, housing, care, custody and control of citizens who are arrested by law enforcement. The Detention Facility staff works hand in hand with the Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division, Lake City Police Department and other area Law Enforcement agencies serving the citizens of Columbia County. Detention Facility staff personnel also work very closely with the Columbia County Courts, State Attorney’s Office and the Public Defenders Office.
Commanded by a Captain and two Lieutenants, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Detention Division is made up of sworn uniformed Detention Officers who provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Detention Facility was constructed in 1987 with a maximum capacity of 256 beds and houses minimum, medium and maximum security custody classifications. The Detention Division consists of 4 shifts with 10 officers per shift. Each shift is supervised by a Sergeant (Watch Commander), a Corporal (Shift Supervisor) and 8 Correctional Officers who manage the daily operations of the facility.
Captain Chris Douglas is a graduate of Columbia High School and began his career as a Correctional Officer in 1983 for the Department of Corrections. Captain Douglas worked his way through the ranks in Corrections and was promoted to the position of Warden in 2006. Captain Douglas joined the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in July 2015 as a Detention Officer after his retirement from the Department of Corrections in August 2013. Captain Douglas has experience in many different areas of Law Enforcement including Specialized Tactical Training, Emergency Management, Crisis Intervention and Executive Leadership. Captain Douglas has also been a past member of the National Institute of Justice Technology Working Group on Less Lethal Use of Force Options for Law Enforcement, Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency and the National Association of Wardens and Superintendents. Captain Douglas was promoted to the rank of Captain in April 2016 by Sheriff Mark Hunter as the Jail Administrator for the Columbia County Detention Facility.
Booking is responsible for processing offenders that have been arrested by local Law Enforcement as well as processing offenders who have been sentenced by the Columbia County Courts. A onetime non-refundable fifteen dollar ($15) subsistence fee is charged to all offenders at the time of intake. Individuals that have been arrested and are not able to bond out will appear before a Judge within the first twenty-four (24) hours of arrest. The Judge informs each arrestee of his/her charge(s) and the bond amount for each charge. First appearance is held each day, via Poly Com (Video Monitor), at the Detention Facility.
The Medical Department is staffed with 2 Registered Nurses (RN) and 2 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) who provide medical services to inmates. Additionally, the Detention Division has 2 area Doctors on contract to provide Medical and Mental Health Services to incarcerated offenders. Inmate’s health complaints are solicited daily and followed by appropriate triage and treatment by qualified health professionals. These services comply with the Florida Model Jail Standards and are inspected annually for continued compliance.
The Classification Department determines custody and housing assignments for all offenders at the Detention Facility. The Classification Department is responsible for processing court dispositions and release documentation as it is received from the Courts. Additionally, the Classification Officer tracks the length of sentence for each offender, calculates incentive gain time, formulates correct release dates, prepares commitment packets for those inmates who are sentenced to the Department of Corrections and coordinates hearings for the Parole Commission and Child Support Enforcement.
The Food Service Department is operated by Eagle Food Services Inc. under contract with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Eagle Food Services is required to provide three (3) meals each day to every offender housed at the Detention Facility. The Food Service Director is required to follow an approved menu by a state certified dietitian for all meals served at the Detention Facility.
The Columbia County Warrants Division is responsible for maintaining and servicing all Warrants within the county. The Warrants division consists of a Warrants Supervisor and two full-time clerks who receive and process all warrants issued by the Third Circuit Courts and the Columbia County Courts. The clerks also receive and process warrants from other agencies for persons being sought in Columbia County. Additionally, the warrants clerks coordinate with other agencies on prisoner transportation and provide other agencies with information on warrants and criminal processes held or received by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. The clerks provide investigative assistance to Sheriff’s Office Investigators and other department personnel.
The Transportation Department consists of four (4) Transport Deputies / Officers who ensure the transportation of offenders to outside court, doctor visits, hospitals, correctional facilities and other counties are completed in a safe and timely manner. The Transport Deputies assist with staffing courtrooms for trials involving offenders in the custody of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
This program allows select low risk offenders who meet the Columbia County Courts and Detention Facility criteria an opportunity to work in the community while completing the terms of their sentence. This program gives offenders the chance to pay restitution and support their families during incarceration.
Stewart Commissary is contracted with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office to provide canteen services to the offender population. The Detention Facility’s Inmate Commissary is operated by one (1) civilian employee. The commissary provides inmates with such items as: Canteen, personal hygiene products and indigent care items.
Facility programs consist of:
- Law Library
- General Library
- Religious Services
The Detention Facility has one full time county maintenance person assigned who is responsible for the oversight of all facility repairs, preventive maintenance and emergency work orders. The Detention Facility staff works closely with the Columbia County Maintenance Department to ensure all maintenance needs for the facility are met.