While law enforcement activities are the most visible part of the Sheriff's Office, corrections services are very much the heart of their organization. Comprising over 70% of MCSO's entire workforce, the Corrections Division is responsible for managing virtually every aspect of life for the 37,000+ people moving through their system each year.
For most people who are arrested and 'booked' into jail, the stay is short while they move through the required process of being searched, photographed and identified through fingerprinting before being released back into the community 'on their own recognizance' with a date and time to show up for court.
For those who end up being housed in jail due to a variety of reasons that may include severity of alleged crime, previous criminal history, legal mandates and others, the length of stay varies widely. Many will be released within a day or two after they've appeared in front of a judge and are arraigned on charges. Some will be sentenced to relatively short terms ranging from a couple of days to a few months for minor charges that will be served locally. And others, still, will begin a long and resource-draining process of motions, trials and appeals.
However, the reason an inmate is in custody or what directions he or she may travel in the legal process, the same challenges are faced by the Sheriff's Office in succeeding in their mission to provide safe, efficient and effective corrections services that coordinate with and meet the needs of the courts, the inmates and the community.