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Booking is the central nervous system of the jail providing numerous services. The functions and services that are processed at the booking desk include:
- All subjects arrested or released from the jail.
- All transports such as Iowa Medical Corrections Classification (IMCC), medical, and out-of-county.
- All paperwork such as court, transport orders, inmate file updates, and detainers.
- All inmate appearances for court or anything else.
- Inmate support service slips requesting property to go up or to be placed in their property.
- All phone calls from the public, law enforcement, Clerk's Office, Attorney's Office, and other county or state institutions.
With approximately 10,000 arrests annually, booking is an busy place. Due to the heavy volume of work, many officers (Identification, Court Runner, Visitation Control Officer, Transport Officers, Supervisors) are utilized to assist in the booking process. This causes a demand on the other areas of operation of the jail. Consequently, as a result of the volume work, non-uniformed personnel officers and supervisory staff are required to work together as a team to support many tasks assigned in the function.
Officers assigned to booking must be flexible and able to be proficient in all the functions of this area. In an ideal workplace at least two booking officers are needed for all the services that are completed on a daily basis. Due to staffing levels this can not be accomplished at this time.
Classification is the primary method of keeping order in a correctional facility by dividing inmates into categories of security risks. Classification keeps inmates who could harm other inmates or officers from mixing with inmates who are not as inclined to violent behavior. It also provides a system of reward and punishment to control inmate behavior.
The classification process sends a message to inmates of the need to behave and comply with rules and procedures – good behavior will result in improvements in their classification and poor behavior will result in their classification being changed to a less desirable level of inmate life and environment. Proper classification where inmates are reviewed in an objective manner is the cornerstone to maintaining order in the facility.
Improper classification creates problems since the “message” to inmates regarding the cause and affect of their behavior is confused and has less effort on their desire to comply with rules and procedures since they can not see clear benefits to “good behavior”. In addition, the facility risks liability problems if wrongly classified inmates are mixed. A well-designed classification system can also alleviate some problems caused by over-crowding.
The I.D. Officer is responsible for obtaining classifiable fingerprint cards, ensure all prints are clear, placed on correct cards and filled out correctly. The I.D. Officer understands criminal charges and the corresponding Iowa code section numbers. They have a workable knowledge of Livescan, TFP Mugshot station and all components. The officer ensures all serious misdemeanors or above are fingerprinted. A set of those prints are sent to DCI and the FBI. The I.D. Officer has an understanding of investigative search, photo lineups and ink method fingerprints.
Ink prints are required to do major case prints. (Major case prints consist of fingers and fingertips, palm sides and palms.) Daily and monthly audits are conducted which include number of arrests or bookings, numbers of fingerprints done by each officer, number of prints done for those who failed to register as sex offenders, applicant prints, number of those booked into the facility during the month, and courtesy prints.
Mugshots are taken by the Printrak system which allows the Sheriff's Office to distribute the mugshots to both State and Local agencies. They are then stored in the TFP Mugshot Display Station where they can be recalled for viewing and hard copies can be obtained. All booked inmates have mugshots taken and are required to wear an identification wristband.
The sally port is the garage where police and sheriff vehicles unload inmates at the jail. They may include new arrests or the transportation of inmates to the Tremont Annex Facility or other jails.
After the vehicle pulls in, the door is closed creating a secure environment for those in custody. They are removed from the vehicle and proceed to the booking area for processing.
There is also a sally port for the transporting of inmates in and out of the annex facility.