FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Greene County Commission, City of Springfield and Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott have reached an agreement that amends the 1997 Law Enforcement Sales Tax agreement and settles the lawsuits surrounding the use of the Justice Center.
On July 28, Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott and the City of Springfield voluntarily dismissed their respective lawsuits — with the approval of Judge John D. Beger, of the 25th Judicial Court of Missouri — after the Sheriff was forced to close the jail to municipal inmates effective April 1, 2015, due to capacity issues.
In light of the agreement, the Sheriff’s Office will begin processing the City’s municipal inmates. The Sheriff will safely transport Springfield municipal inmates to safe and secure facilities contracted by the City of Springfield.
All parties warn this is not a solution to the capacity issues facing the jail. The agreement, rather, is a starting point to begin to exploring opportunities for jail growth.
Details of the 2017 Addendum
- The Greene County Sheriff’s Office agrees to process and transport a minimum of up to 35 City of Springfield municipal prisoners per day to jail facilities outside of Greene County contracted by the City of Springfield. (See Section 2, paragraph 1)
- The Sheriff agrees to return municipal inmates back to the Justice Center upon being released at no cost to the City, unless transportation is provided by the other jail facility. (See Section 2, paragraph 1, G)
- The County Commission agrees to allocate funding to expand the jail should a new tax be approved by voters. (See Section 2, paragraph 2, B)
- Within 36 months of voters passing a new County sales tax, the Sheriff will guarantee 48- bed capacity for Springfield municipal inmates to be housed in the Justice Center at no additional cost to the City. (See Section 2, paragraph 1, K)
- Upon approval specifically authorizing use of a portion of the City of Springfield’s level property tax AND voter approval of a new County sales tax, the City commits to provide $2 million toward construction of additional jail capacity in the Justice Center through an annual payment of $200,000 for a period of 10 years. (Section 2, paragraph 3, E)
- The parties will have the opportunity to revisit the overall agreement regularly, starting in 2027. If a consensus can’t be reached to continue or renegotiate the agreement, it will expire on December 31, 2037, and future proceeds from the 1997 Law Enforcement Sales Tax will be paid into a third-party escrow account until the parties execute a written extension agreement. (See Section 4)
For more information, contact Greene County Director of Communications and Public Engagement Trysta Herzog at 417-771-9859 or [email protected], City of Springfield Assistant Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Melissa Haase at 417-536-7648 or [email protected], or Greene County Sheriff's Office Public Relations Coordinator Corporal Cathy Ussery at 417-829-6393 or [email protected]