Van Buren County TN 38585
The Sheriff is responsible for the Van Buren County Jail. It is operated and supervised for the Sheriff by the Jail Administrator. The Sheriff is given a budget by Van Buren County to operate the Jail. Oversight is provided under Tennessee Code Annotated (Title 41 Chapter 7) by the Tennessee Corrections Institute. When an inmate is convicted of a felony (with imprisonment for one year or greater) that inmate is transferred to a State prison. The nearest Tennessee State Prison is just across the county line in Bledsoe County, but the inmate might be sent to a different state prison. The State Department of Corrections can contract with Van Buren County to house State prisoners at a set rate.The Jail shares a building with the Sheriff's Office and the Deputies' Workroom. This building is located across the street from and north of the Van Buren County Courthouse, next to the U.S. Post Office (Spencer). It comprises a main cell, maximum security area with two cells, a women's cell and a trustee's cell and a drunk tank. There are 27 beds. Both men and women may be incarcerated in the Jail. Facilities include a small kitchen, laundry, and restrooms. Three meals per day are provided in-house by female trustees supervised by a temporary employee and they are funded from the Sheriff's budget. Overflow space when inmate count rises too high is provided by adjacent counties at a cost to Van Buren County. In certain situations inmates may be designated as “trustees”, which allows them to leave the Jail under strict supervision during daytime hours to do work for the tax payers. Each day of work done by a trustee reduces that person's sentence by an extra day, thus counting a work day as two days served. This benefits the taxpayers of Van Buren County due to the work being done and due to the reduction in the number of inmate-days the Jail must provide. It also helps to instill and maintain a work ethic in those selected inmates. Eventually Van Buren County will build a new, more modern jail and, perhaps, Sheriff's Office.