Alachua County Commission instructs Sheriff to provide unlimited free phone calls to jail inmates, Sheriff says it’s a “math issue”

Sheriff Emery Gainey explains the problems with implementing unlimited free phone calls at the jail


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – At the December 12 Alachua County Commission meeting, Alachua County Sheriff Emery Gainey gave the board an update on the implementation of their previous direction to Sheriff Clovis Watson to provide free phone calls for jail inmates.

Sheriff Gainey says Sheriff Watson never created a policy to implement the board’s direction

Gainey said that when he took office on October 2, he had expected a policy to be in place to implement the board’s direction, but that policy had not been created, so his staff developed the current policy. 

Gainey explained that the phone bank opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m., but there are also periods during those hours when inmates cannot be on the phone because of inmate counts, mealtimes, and administrative time. When the minutes of availability per day are divided by the number of inmates, Gainey said, it comes to three 15-minute phone calls per day per inmate. 

Conflicts over phone use lead to fights and criminal charges

Gainey presented data gathered between October 2 and December 2, including 48 phone-related incident reports, 64 disciplinary reports, 847 days of disciplinary confinement (in 61 days), 135 days of telephone PIN suspension, three uses of force, eight inmate fights, seven fights, 18 batteries, and two criminal charges filed (victims in the other incidents have chosen to not file charges). 

Slide from Sheriff Gainey’s presentation on December 12

Gangs are controlling the phones

Gainey said PIN numbers are being stolen and used by other inmates: “Individuals… [who are] part of gangs are blocking the phones so other inmates can’t get there.” He said inmates are unable to use their three phone calls after their PIN numbers are stolen. There is also an issue during peak hours in the evenings, when inmates want to call friends and family members who work during the day; Gainey said the jail cannot add more phones because of floor space requirements in the Florida Model Jail Standards, and the problem gets worse when one or more phones are broken. Jails are also required to provide unlimited time for phone calls to attorneys. 

Gainey showed an example of a piece of paper found by jail staff with a list of inmates who would be allowed to use the phones. Gainey said this “totally should not occur, but those who are controlling the phones have literally made lists as to who can use the phone and when.” Gainey played a sample phone call from an inmate to a relative in which the inmate complained about gang members controlling the phones during evening hours. 

Gainey said that the inability to detect three-way calling (where an inmate calls someone outside the jail, then that person gets on a call with a third person and merges the calls) had led to inmate-to-inmate calls that allow inmates to monitor and communicate staff movement, staffing levels, and the movement of contraband and resources within the jail; inmates speaking to co-defendants against court orders; and inmates calling victims against court orders.

Fights increasing

Gainey showed a chart with the number of fights per month over the past two years but said the numbers for October and November are only phone-related fights. The jail averaged 5.5 fights per month from January to September 2023, then the number of fights jumped to 11 in October and dropped to 3 in November. 

Slide from Sheriff Gainey’s presentation on December 12

Jail staff showed images of fights in the housing units, emphasizing the threat to detention officers from the number of inmates in the area, particularly when the jail is at critical staffing levels, as it is now. The image below, for example, shows a single detention officer detaining an inmate on the floor while surrounded by a large number of inmates.

Slide from Sheriff Gainey’s presentation on December 12

Inmates are using each others’ PIN numbers six times as often per day

Gainey said, “Obviously, it’s our goal to try to comply with your request for free phone calls. We’re doing that; we’re still evaluating it. But obviously, felt it necessary to bring to you what we’ve experienced in the last 60-plus days as a result of that change.” He presented a final piece of data: from January 1 to September 30, 2023, 4,181 phone calls were detected in which an inmate used another inmate’s phone PIN, an average of 15.3 times per day. From October 1 to December 8, 2023, 6,417 phone calls were detected in which an inmate used another inmate’s PIN, an average of 93 times a day. 

After the presentation, Commissioner Anna Prizzia said that while the number of fights jumped in October, “it didn’t seem like it was out of the norm of other months of fighting… Any time you try something new, it’s going to be hard… And any time you introduce something new, especially when you put a limit on it, you’re creating currency.”

Staff says fights declined in November because so many inmates were in disciplinary confinement

Gainey said the fights on the graph in October and November are specifically phone-related, while none of the previous fights were phone-related. Staff said the number of fights declined in November because the fights in October resulted in 30-day disciplinary confinement penalties. Staff also speculated that the inmates had “adjusted” to the fact that specific gangs control the phones.

Sheriff: Limit of three phone calls per day is a “math issue”

Commissioner Ken Cornell said, “I’m 100% with Commissioner Prizzia. Who came up with the, ‘We’re going to give you three phone calls, and so you have to have a PIN’?”

Gainey said the limit of three phone calls is a “math issue.”

Cornell: “I want free, unlimited phone calls.”

Cornell said, “I think that’s the cause of the problem, Sheriff… When you create scarcity, you create value, and when someone doesn’t use that, they sell that value. I believe the direction of this board was unlimited free phone calls… I want free, unlimited phone calls.”

Gainey responded, “When you have free unlimited phone calls, you still create fights because the people who cannot now get to the phone because of control by gang members…”

Cornell interrupted, “No–we haven’t done it.”

Gainey said, “What we’re saying is that we create an opportunity for every inmate to have access to the phone.”

Cornell responded, “You haven’t–you said you have access to three calls… That’s not the same, Sheriff. With all due respect, that is not the same as this board’s direction of free, unlimited phone calls. We gave direction… I’d like you to try free unlimited phone calls.”

Gainey said they could change the model, “and I can assure you that we will be back talking about the same thing.”

Commissioner Marihelen Wheeler said to Gainey, “I hear what you’re saying. I have a son that deals with this in a prison in Kentucky, in terms of phone calls… Commissioner Cornell, I think you’re going to see the same results [because of the gangs].”

Prizzia: “Let’s figure out how to add more phones”

Prizzia said that the County’s Facilities Manager might be able to find a way to convert a space at the jail into a phone room to create more space for phones: “If there’s not enough phones for a decent amount of inmates to be on the phone at the same time, you create scarcity, and then somebody is going to control that asset… Let’s figure out how to add more phones.”

Gainey: “We could literally have somebody on the phone all day long”

Gainey said that if they allow unlimited free calls, “we could literally have somebody on the phone all day long, and then we [only] have seven phones”; in addition, he said, adding phones in another part of the jail adds logistical problems because staff – “already short-staffed” – have to move inmates to that phone.

Cornell said he had heard of other jails where every inmate has a tablet for texts, phone calls, movies, books, and music. He asked Sheriff Gainey to go back and watch the previous meeting “because that was the direction of this board, to provide free unlimited communication from our inmates to their families, to take away the control of money and take away the control of scarcity. And money is one thing, but you’ve created a scarcity thing with three calls… So I’m asking you all to come back with solutions that help us fulfill the direction of this board, which was free unlimited calls.”

Gainey said PINs were sold before the limit of three phone calls, “so that’s not, in itself, necessarily new. The issue is the fights as a result of this and the theft of the PINs… If you’re happy with the idea that someone’s on the phone all day and other inmates don’t get access to it, we can do that.”

Cornell: “I think they self-govern themselves on that. Maybe I’m wrong.”

Cornell responded, “I think they self-govern themselves on that. Maybe I’m wrong.” Detective Clint Ferguson said Marion County had tablets for the inmates, and “they’ve taken them away because they were either getting damaged or hacked. So that’s one issue. And I do believe if you open it to unlimited… they’re already run by the gangs now. So it’s only going to get worse.”

In response to a question from Chair Mary Alford, Gainey emphasized again that the number of fights on the graph in recent months were just over phones, while the data before October 1 was for all fights. Alford responded, “What I see from that is that the inmates who are looking for something to fight about, they’re gonna fight about this. And if they don’t fight about this, they’re gonna fight about something else.”

Cornell suggested trying unlimited phone calls with a time limit per call, and Gainey said they could try that but “you will not potentially be accommodating every inmate… Those who are controlling the phones are making more than three [calls].”

Cornell said, “I think if you take away the scarcity of the number and you get back to the unlimited, and maybe you make the scarcity time, that you may have folks that are making that phone call, and then they get back in line [and wait their turn, then make another call, then get back in line]… And there’s no limit.”

Cornell: “I want you all to hear me: I am against a limit of three phone calls.”

Gainey pointed out again that it doesn’t work like that because the gangs control the phones, and Cornell said they would have to “agree to disagree… I want you all to hear me: I am against a limit of three phone calls.” Gainey said they had chosen the three-call-limit plan as a starting point, and they are willing to try other options.

Wheeler: “[Jail inmates are] a population of power and control people”

Wheeler said, “Commissioner Cornell, you’re dealing with a different kind of population, a population of rule-breakers, and they’re a population of power and control people… What’s real is real. And we never did get to listen to what these folks thought would work… I mean, you’ve got somebody who can get on the phone and stay on there all day long and bully anybody who dares try.”

Cornell said, “Limit the time, not the number of calls.”


Prizzia made a motion to ask the Sheriff to re-attempt implementing unlimited free phone calls, bring back an update in 60 days, and ask facility staff to work with the jail to look at options for additional phone call spaces at the jail. Cornell seconded the motion.

A number of people spoke during public comment, all in favor of continuing to implement the board’s policy of free unlimited phone calls.

After public comment, Cornell added to the motion a request for staff to provide the board with a monthly report of how many phones are working and how many were broken and repaired during the month “because I don’t want this excuse of ‘The phones aren’t working.'” Cornell also asked Gainey to look at policies that are currently being used in the four states that have free phone calls for inmates.

The motion passed unanimously.

Gainey: “The phones are not broken that often… The problem is the number of phones”

After the vote, Cornell told Gainey, “[Later in this meeting], we’re going to approve a budget amendment… I know you have some requests. So hopefully you understand, we’re trying to give you the resources you need. I just wanted to make that point.”

Gainey said, “We very much appreciate it… Just a couple of quick comments, if we may, out of fairness–again, the phones are not broken that often. They’re up, probably, 95%-96% of the time… It’s unfair to Securus…–those phones are not down very long, and Securus has been very responsive.” He repeated that the problem is “the number of phones.”

  • My suggestion is to take the inmates to Cornhole Cornell’s house to use his phone. They’ll be no threat to the public and they get out for some fresh air.
    Idiot liberals.

  • Cornel has no clue of what he is talking about in this matter and ignorance in that arena is harmful to the inmates as well as the DOJ staff.

  • A bunch of idiots who know nothing about running a jail or how to supervise inmates. Kinda like Joe and the Kamel acting like they know what they are doing but still have no clue. Wheeler us the only commissioner who seems to have some common sense. Leave law enforcement alone to do their jobs.

    • Oh, The Resident and Vice Resident know exactly what they’re doing – destroying America as we know it on purpose.
      Don’t mistake bad outcome we all see from Leftist policies as stupidity on their part. They actually very adept at what they are doing, and coming off as stupid to the opposition is part of the strategy – it causes the opposition to underestimate their ability.

    • If you know so much about running a jail and supervising inmates, why aren’t you running for commissioner? Instead, you’re just complaining from behind a computer screen.

      • Been in the altering of human behavior game for a long time. I dont want any part of it anymore where you are not supported by a commission for doing your job. I can not be a commissioner in Alachua County or the City of Gainesville because I compare what this idiots do to a Sh– salesman running around with a mouth full of samples. I am not a liberal whiner like Harvey, Poe, Kenny, and Chuckles. Unlike these baboons I actually have a moral compass. I actually believe in upholding an oath of office and doing my job within the laws of the United States and Florida. And I believe in following the Constitutions of bith without losing my ethics or stepping on people’s rights. What’s your excuse?

  • I thought the Sheriff was an elected official and they can’t really tell him what to do? He should thank them for their input and go on about his business.

    • The commission is mad because he was appointed by the Governor. They’ll take their toys and go home if he doesn’t do as they dictate.
      If Cornell could get away with it he would release the inmates who haven’t exhibited any bad behavior over a 24 hr period. He’s also seeking favor for his reelection, it’s clear he hopes he doesn’t have to work a real job anytime in the near future and as long as he’s on the dais, he can continue looking down at people. The ONLY way…

      • Lily Prizzy stated, “If there’s not enough phones for a decent amount of inmates to be on the phone at the same time, you create scarcity, and then somebody is going to control that asset…” Sounds quite a bit what the city and county want to do with residents and their property. She should offer to take a couple out on a date couple nights a week if she holds the criminals in such high regard.

        After the vote, Cornell told Gainey, “[Later in this meeting], we’re going to approve a budget amendment… I know you have some requests. So hopefully you understand, we’re trying to give you the resources you need. I just wanted to make that point.”
        If that’s not incentive for the sheriff to do as his master has told him I don’t know what is.

        • Yeah, that was the most blatant veiled threat I’ve heard in a public meeting in quite a while. Cornell and anyone who supports unlimited phone calls forget one important thing…JAIL SHOULD BE PUNISHMENT, NOT A PLACE TO HANG OUT! These commissioners are blissful idiots.

  • Tablets in jail. Wow. Let me break that thing and now I have lots of sharp edges for further issues.

    It’s a jail. Not a spa. Expect restrictions.

    I’m sorry your darling can’t call home for two hours. There are limits to how long he can be on the phone.

    Because it’s a jail. Not a spa. Expect restrictions

  • The Alachua county, commissioners, are as stupid as the city of Gainesville commissioners. Sheriff Ganey should tell them that he does not work for them. He works for the voters and to F off.

    • He doesn’t work for the voters. He wasn’t elected. He was appointed by fascist DeSantis. He works for the fascist republicans.

      • You are still using that word wrong dum dum,

        “Fascism prioritizes the nation over the individual, who exists to serve the nation.” and as “an ultranationalist, authoritarian political philosophy.”

        • Actually, Fascism prioritizes Governments control over privately owned business. It doesn’t necessarily prioritize the nation as much as it prioritizes that government control. It absolutely is an authoritarian political ideology. Lets help Dum Dum recognize the ideology that they are actually supporting……

          • My description is from an online dictionary because Paulie numbnuts won’t stop calling people fascist and still doesn’t know what it means

      • At least he’s working for the fascist Republicans. It’s more than the lazy liberals who want free stuff all the time are doing.

      • Fascist Republicans! Oh my how that hurts! Stop! You’re killing me! ROTFLMAO!

        Sheriff Gainey was appointed because the incompetent, “democratically elected”, Sheriff resigned prior to the end of his term! I guess he didn’t want to take up residency in his own jail! Probably figured he could never get a phone call!

        Sheriff Gainey probably wants less to do with the petty, partisan, local Alachua County government, than he does diarrhea!

      • Typical idiot left wing trash! You hate a man of color that escaped the democrat Plantation!

      • Bo Bo you poor little democrats crying is such a pretty sight just wait and see what happens with the country commission since we now have single member districts

    • Totally agree with you. Why don’t we lock the Alachua commissioners in said jail for some time so they can experience first hand exactly what happens there with the criminals. I hate politics!! Whatever happened to just doing what’s right for the sake of doing what’s right. They all need to be in jail. All they’re doing is pushing their agenda of destroying America.

  • Ha, ha, ha! Cornell is an idiot! I guess he is working hard for his taxpaying constituents in the jail!

    Why doesn’t the entire BOCC check in to Hotel ACSO Jail and run their meetings from there, make their own unlimited phone calls on the convict controlled phones? All idiots, more concerned about the criminals than taxpayers!

  • Liberals ruin everything, they are in for CRIME(S)! that is why there is so much cri e because demonrats look out for criminals more than the victim.

  • Every day since Commissioners got paid even though they resided outside their district this group seems to be empowered by lawlessness. How can they not be required to pay the taxpayers back? As far a lil Kenny,all bark. Remember how he caved to the Eastside development that cost us $4, million. They should all be recalled. Socialist Bullies.

  • Letting the Commissioners run the jail is like the inmates running the asylem. These people have no idea what they’re doing. Let the Sheriff run the jail not the liberals.

  • Maybe Cornell is prepping for a future he or his buddies may have…

    Anything’s possible.

  • One thing is for sure, with single member districts, most of these commissioners will be voted out and Cornell for sure will be out of his seat. So that should stop all this foolishment.

  • As usual, unlimited free stuff and fostering human misery are the top priorities of our Dem BOCC. Soros dark money demands it. 👹🤡🍦🍦🍦D

  • Talk about living in LaLa Land. This is a JAIL for people who have broken the law. These inmates live by a different code and to expect them to play nice and obey rules is completely out of touch with reality. But then again, that is where our commissioners live — out of touch with reality. Sheriff Gainey is a fine man and an outstanding law enforcement officer .. he should be listened to.

  • So commissioner cornell is the expert. Interesting.
    Kudos to Sheriff Gainey for his professionalism while dealing with a complete idiot. We are fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and dedicated sheriff at the helm.

  • Sorry, but I don’t see anything unreasonable in what the sheriff is doing. Next thing we know the commission will want him to provide turn down service and chocolates on their pillows.

  • Let’s see, free unlimited phone calls, free unlimited blunts & a rock, free unlimited hookers 24/7, throw in free unlimited malt liquor & brandy.
    Yep, that should about solve the jails problem.
    Gainey is the man for the job! County commissioners, useless.

  • Cornell: If the inmates had more hobbies they would be more peaceful. I think whittling is peaceful. I demand all inmates be issued knives for whittling.

    Gainey: The inmates will stab each other with the knives and endanger the staff.

    Cornell: I want you all to hear me. I am against keeping knives from inmates for whittling.

    Gainey: We would have to lock each inmate in a room on their own if they are given a knife. We don’t have the rooms or the staff to handle this.

    Cornell: I want to see a whittling artwork display every 60 days so we can enjoy the results of my demand.

  • Let know it all Cornell monitor the criminals phone calls in person and see how that goes. Cornell has no experience in law enforcement and he wants to run the jail. How did that work out the last time the county ran it?

  • Who’s the gang that controls the phone ? Does the public have the right to know about this criminal organization that is operating (controlling) in their community and inside the taxpayer funded jail ? Why is Cornell ignoring the fact that this gang exercises control over the phone and exercises control (power) within the taxpayer funded jail ? What other types of activities is this gang involved in outside the jail, in the community, and are their certain folks who derive benefit from their activities and in what way ? Just asking….

  • Sheriff says it’s a “math issue”

    And….we all know that math is hard.
    Give me a break.

  • I am not surprised at this, It fits perfectly with the liberal thinking Idiot’s that run Alachua cty/Gainesville. Bullies and people in control understand only one Language, it come from someone that is stronger and has more power than their warped mines can understand

  • Micromanaging an experienced, professional law enforcement officer always turns out well, with no unintended consequences ever.

  • We have a competent sheriff who has improved other jail problems. The directives from the BOCC are tying his hands while the sheriff’s office and jail are still short staffed. It takes time to hire and train LEOs. Space is insufficient for more phones. Staff is still not sufficient to monitor all the phone usage already. But the BOCC insists that phone usage must be the priority.

    I hope Sheriff Gainey keeps at it, despite the obstacles the BOCC puts in his way. Really thankful that Sheriff Gainey is willing to take on this very difficult job.

  • Sheriff should request real estate agent Cornell provide a home, furnished for each person that does not qualify for a mortgage. See how that works out. I”m sure there are math issues. Cornell I thought was normal but when wacky Wheeler makes sense, how wrong was I.

  • I’m for expanding the jail and make it a miserable place so you want stay out of the system! Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time!!!!

  • Why has Cornell picked this hill to die on? It makes no sense that he keeps demanding “free, unlimited calls” without listening to the Sheriff or looking at the data. A wise person delegates and defers to the experts. Cornell is not an expert in jail models, phone systems or prison culture. Stand down.

    Spend an afternoon binge watching Locked Up or some other prison show to get a small idea of anything. There are rules and then there are “rules”. Wheeler says inmates are inherent rule breakers which is true for some, but not all. Even the ones that aren’t, get taken advantage of by the inmate code. Predator and prey. Wheeler is also the only one that spoke with any logic regarding this issue.

    Cornell literally wants the Sheriff to go against the Florida Model Jail Standards which gives inmates constitutional rights. Does he seriously believe that once someone is done with the phone they are going to hang up and go to the back of the line? Think about all of the lines people stand in now, or growing up in school. Some people don’t self monitor well. Much less when they are locked up, having a pissing contest, and there isn’t anyone to tell them to go to the back of the line.

    He is starting to sound like a two year old “I want a toy, I want a toy” over and over. Learn to take no for answer. The Sheriff appears to be trying very, very hard to be respectful in presenting information that is showing Cornell’s “demands” aren’t feasible. Including capitulating by saying “three is a starting point”. He is willing to work towards something feasible; however, there are only so many options. Something Cornell seemingly refuses to acknowledge. Cornell should spend a day at the jail watching the cameras. Not walking around so inmates “straighten up and act right”. But a full, 8 hour work day, sitting, watching and learning before dictating and demanding.

    IF the Sheriff did as Cornell wishes and chaos ensued…who is liable for the lawsuits? The medical bills for hospitalizations of inmates being severely beaten? The inmate that sues because they were never allowed access to a phone? (They had access Cornell, the phone is right there…they just have to get through the gang to use it.) Who is handling the media scrutiny? So many questions. The potential for collateral damage by just blindly opening the flood gates because Cornell “wants to” is unimaginable.

    It really looks like no matter who holds the office of the Sheriff, the BOCC will not work together with them, as a team, for the citizens. People keep saying “Gainesville has gotten bad” – the BOCC has gotten petty.

    Stepping off my soapbox now.

    • The BOCC is trying to undermine Sheriff Gainey because he’s not one of the Leftist-approved officials. The previous Sheriff ignored the insane request, and Sheriff Gainey being a good man is trying to play along with the BOCC to get along. I think he just learned his lesson that it’s futile to do so.

  • Is there any other urban size jail that allows FREE, UNLIMITED phone use? Any where, even in Democrat controlled areas? This is stupidity at its finest. There aren’t enough employees for normal operation of the jail now, thanks to the Democrat politicians, much less monitoring phone use. Each of those incompetents on the County Commission should work a shift in the jail and understand reality.

    • I would like to see them in jail as inmates so they can see how docile and cooperative the inmates are when it comes to orders that give them even more freedom than they’re all already been given. It’s alright. They deserve to be in there for stylist m stupidity alone. Do they actually listen to themselves, and to start we think of them? Maybe they need to start reading the news. Or, maybe we should send them inmates printouts.” I want, I want, I want.” Sounds like the classic small minded bully who only learns after being taught a lesson by the good guy.

  • One is innocent until proven guilty. Detained and not afforded the opportunity to communicate is depravity of rights under the color of law. Making a considerable profit from this phone industry is racketeering. Having a one million dollar inmate welfare fund and having to buy soap while confined says so much.
    What makes our jail any different than any other jail that makes phone calls free for inmates? Booking fees have been removed & now phase 2. But why can’t the ASO comply? There is no excuse to implement a half measure. We will see Sheriff Gainey’$ resolve on this matter.
    Standing by…

    • You agree then that the Colorado Supreme Court decision to remove Trump from the ballot was illegal then? Trump has never been convicted of, let alone charged with, insurrection.
      Same goes for the Maine Sec of State’s refusal to allow Trump on the ballot.
      These people are the true threats to democracy (more correctly, the Republic), and need to be dealt with as such.

    • 🛑 It’s All a Sham Organization, It’s Not about phone call’s it’s about the Head Count. Gainey and his Goons could care less, get it Care-less, There’s a lesson in there Somewhere, Gainesville Against Tyranny 🛑.

    • Simple fix – The Sheriff chooses to operate the jail by contract. Don’t renew it. The County Commission will have to learn how to run it themselves. The Sheriff does not have to run the jail. The meddling BOCC will learn to stay in their lane quickly when the professionals leave the room and they realize it really is all their responsibility and their fault.

      • I totally agree with you. I’m sure should give it to the county and let them deal with the bullshit.

  • How is anyone supposed to learn? Jail is where you go when you have done something wrong. IT’S A PUNISHMENT!! Once there, the goal is to make it a learning experience with consequences for your actions and hopefully a place you never want to return to. So the solution to the increase in crime is to make jail easier for the inmates and allow them with privileges and freedoms that most take for granted? There is no real punishment in this situation. We aren’t teaching our kids that there are any real consequences in schools and taking power away from our teachers to be able to discipline their students, and now it is carrying over into the jail systems. When a child gets grounded do we make exception and let them still have their phones because they’re upset about it? No! That teaches them entitlement and that with a little complaining they can just get their way and there are no REAL consequences for poor decisions and their actions. In the long run all of this will lead to even higher crime rates and jail populations to carry through to however many generations follow this line of thinking.

    Sheriff Gainey is a wonderful man with many years of experience. He is known for cleaning up departments when they are in severe trouble, which I think it’s evident that Alachua County was. He is reasonable and about as fair as they come, but also doesn’t take nonsense. Morale with the sheriff office staff has increased and there have even been staff returning to work because of him. If he is speaking on a topic I would listen. Not just in his professional career, but in life in general. I can’t speak highly enough about him and his character.

    I think the BOCC is upset because they don’t have a sheriff they can have in their pocket anymore and lead along with them in all their corrupt BS they try to pull. Not used to getting that push back are they?

    • Jail is detention before trial and is based on bond which is determined on risk. The SAO8 is the true responsible party as to determine detention & confinement. Jail is not the primary incarceration/rehabilitation process prison AKA department of corrections fits that role. Many defendants spend years in jail waiting for trial to be found not guilty or win at appeal in prison… Many detained are innocent & are force fed plea bargains by SAO8 until they break due to the unbearable jail conditions…800 plus detained

      • Incorrect. Many of these inmates have been convicted and are serving time for up to one year. It’s a dual-purpose facility. Do some research before ‘opening your mouth.’

        • That’s all I do. Are YOU ASO? Out of 800 plus can YOU give an accounting? Do YOU FOIA record request information? I got a BIG mouth & other aspects of A & P. What is apparent is that YOU don’t and YOU would objectively state the numbers. So where is the truth? The truth is one million plus dollars in the inmate welfare fund off of the shady business practices of the county jail plus over $350K profit ASO generates annual into county coffers from the phones. ASO authors skewed data. Here is a link to truth link https://youtu.be/Zw8HyAfVMlA?si=T9vOMN_nsWeWx3 No My aspects of objective facts and YOURS are nothing compared and contrasted. Well YOU ask I walk the dog on effort to research and fact finding for a resident. Are YOU actively engaged? I don’t see any effort of any of YOU accept to run subjective comments, come with effort, facts & actions. All of this is actionable get involved make the change. Lead, follow or get out the way. There is so much waiting to be done do something. I’m only challenging YOU to do something positive. I look to those of YOU that don’t take action as the PROBLEM because YOU have no solution to be implemented… To be as cynical as FREUD stated industry vs inferiority describes the tone YOU approach with. Look where we are today from that mindset. I have layed off of ASO while Sheriff Gainey gets organized but YOU preemptively discount everything I do with a one liner, smile.

          • Based on your research, how much room and board does the county provide cost free to convicted persons and out-of-county vagrants at the jail each year?

  • They have phones that multiple people use? Sounds like a great COVID spreading risk. I demand the jail hire a dozen Telephone Sanitizers to disinfect the phones between users. At City of Gainesville pay rates, they should be able to find qualified Telephone Sanitizers if they pay them each about $100,000 per year.

  • Ken Cornell is clueless and thinks he knows what’s best for inmates and implementing unlimited phone calls.
    Perhaps Cornell should volunteer a couple days of the month at the jail supervising these inmates and fixing the problem.
    Then when he’s done with that maybe he could focus on fixing Alachua County roads.
    Really … who are we kidding , he can’t even fix his bio on his commissioner profile.

  • I agree with Paulie. DeSatanist is a fascist pure and simple. And so are most of you people here. Whatcha gonna do when crooked Trump loses the election again? You’re gonna cry stolen election again? Or are you gonna try another insurrection again? All you republicans are disgusting. Pure evil. You make me want to vomit all over you all.

    • I guess you will be happy as long as your free sh$t and money keeps rolling in from the Democratic Party and Brandon!

      Never mind the damage it does to the actual average American taxpayer! They are Not Your Problem right?

    • Trump has(0) to do with the state of Florida! Maybe you leftists should consider moving out of deep red Florida! You people act as if blue Alachua County is in a blue state!🤣
      We detest you government worshiping trash just as much as you detest us! Problem for you is there are more of us in Florida than there are if you!

    • And as a liberal, having made your opinion known, you’ve made yourself out to be an idiot. At least you’re not lonely.

  • Offering these human beings, most of whom have not been convicted of a crime, access to speaking to their loved ones, employers, and friends is the humane and right thing to do. This support from loved ones will increase their chances of getting their lives on track.

    • I would prefer that we limit calls to only the prisoners’ lawyers because the prisoners don’t seem to value the phone access enough to avoid abusing it.

      It is entirely up to you whether you want to contribute your own money to provide this.

      • Actually, it is entirely up to the County (who owns the jail) whether to spend tax dollars on this. I am happy for them to use mine in this way.

    • They want to speak to Love ones stay the hell out of jail. That way they can even visit them.

  • As someone that works at the jail. The request for everyone to be able to make unlimited free calls sounds like a nice humane thing to do. The problem lies in the execution. The sheriff is right. There are not enough phones to accommodate the request. The amount of officers on each shift is roughly half of what it was in 2019. There’s day’s when there’s not an officer assigned to each housing unit let alone enough staff to babysit the phones. Even if there was rooms to accommodate a bank of phones for the inmates how are they getting there without staff to escort them to and from their housing units? I’ve been doing this for about two decades now. When the labor market is doing well the staffing in corrections goes in the toilet. When the housing market tanked we were running 3 corrections academies a year. We weren’t making shit, but nobody else was either. Just my two cents. Either choose to return to a reasonable rate to place a phone call or only the strong get free phone calls.

  • most people in the jail are innocent until proven guilty , but that’s only in america , and north florida is not in america i almost forgot.

  • I think that the sherrif should let the commission spend a day in lock up to get a more clear understanding im sure it would help

  • The county commissioners should be dealing with the gangs since they are the ones in charge of the jail.

    • If I were Sheriff, elected or appointed, I would suggest the county commission take the jail back over if the commissioners believe they can do a better job. Currently, the Sheriff is in charge on running the jail.

  • I am so glad I no longer live/work in Alachua County and/or the city of Gainesville. For Pete’s sake, these people are in JAIL. There are PUNISHMENTS in jail like loss of phone privileges. Similar to being grounded when you’re a child and have your phone/tablet taken away, these folks who are in jail should also have their privileges taken away. They have attorneys who can reach out to family or whomever when they need money in their canteen, but my God. I don’t get to make free, unlimited personal calls during my days why should prisoners. Cornell, specifically, should have to shadow a 12 hour shift and see what the reality is of the detention deputies/officers who put their lives on the line over phone usage and other nonsense.

  • You people who say Gainey is doing such a good job are missing the big point. He admits he cannot control the gangs inside his jail. This means there is no hope for him to control those same gangs out in the streets.

    • Nobody has complete control of gangs. It’s about mitigation. If law enforcement did what it took to eliminate gangs, it would also be trampling on the Constitution. It’s not a world that you would want to live in. Saying that Gainey does not have control of the gangs is oversimplifying the situation.

  • Pardon me – but why in the Hell is Alachua County supplying cell phones to prisoners?! I’m sorry, but I work for everything I have! Why in the Hell do we keep giving to prisoners? Cable/Satellite for TV, 3 square meals a day, cell phones, medical care, etc…and why are they allowed to use the jail as a permanent address?
    It’s no wonder once released they go right back to breaking the law (and yes, I know not all of them do)…they have it too easy in jail and don’t have to pay for anything.

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