JACKSON COUNTY — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division holds an average of 150 male and female inmates at any given time.
Jail Commander Jim Askey is responsible for the well-being of both the inmates and his staff at the jail.
As a former patrol and narcotics officer, Captain Askey now serves in his first administrative position. He’s only been at the jail for a year and a half, and Askey says he’s still learning how to be away from the action. Taking a cue from his past, Askey is hands-on in his approach to running the jail. For most of the day, Askey spends time outside of his office, making rounds alongside his staff members.
Reporter Macey Lauren spent the day with Captain Askey, to see what it takes to run a county jail.
Every day, Jackson Couny Jail Commander Jim Askey patrols the halls of his jail. It’s a different kind of excitement from his former job patrolling the streets. But Captain Askey says he wants to make one thing clear: it’s not like what you see on TV.
Askey says, “There are no bars in this jail. It’s clean. It’s not noisy. Our officers treat the inmates with respect, until the inmate crosses that line.”
Captain Askey says that doesn’t happen often. He’s only been at the jail for a year and a half. Askey is hands-on. He spends most of the day outside of his office, making rounds alongside his staff members. He says he wouldn’t ask his jailers to do anything he wouldn’t do.
“I put my pants on the same way they do. You know, I am no better. I am the captain, and they do show the respect, but I do treat them just like, you know, just like friends and family. That’s the way I treat all these guys,” says Askey.
Askey describes himself as a true family man. He has 2 sons, one a police officer in another county, the other a marine. He is also a proud new grandfather. Askey says his family values translate into the hardest part of his job.
“Parents being sent off to prison, and you have to arrange the visitation so the little ones can see their loved one, one last time before they get sent off,” says Askey, “I guess the family breakups is really hard to deal with.”
To get through those tough days, the Captain looks to an acronym of leadership traits pinned to his office board. He says he hopes leading by example can inspire inmates after they leave his jail.
Askey says, “I always tell folks a lot of times: I hope next time I see you is at Walmart or Quiktrip or something. I don’t want to see you come in here again. That’s our goal, to make it where they don’t ever want to come back here in this jail again.”
To schedule a visit to the Jackson County jail–contact Commander Jim Askey at 706-367-8718 or firstname.lastname@example.org.