South Alabama sheriff surprised after recent jailhouse sweep

South Ala. sheriff finds surprise in recent jailhouse sweep

COVINGTON COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Bobby Ammons remembers it well. The eyeopener. The shakedown coming at 11 p.m. last Thursday.

“Doing his job. Doing what he is supposed to do," said Ammons, a work release inmate serving time on drug charges.

Jails and prisons with contraband are nothing new; things like drugs and crude homemade weapons are often seized, collected and thrown away unless investigators can pinpoint the guilty party.

“I was pleasantly surprised," said Covington County Sheriff Blake Turman.

Turman expected to find something but found nothing, a far different outcome compared to the unannounced jail search four months ago, just one month after he took office.

“It’s a constant battle to keep stuff out. My secret this time around? Hold your COs (correctional officers) accountable for what you find," said the rookie sheriff but retired state trooper.

The sheriff admitted he won’t get a clean jail shakedown every time because more than 20 work release inmates leave the compound everyday and come back.

“We search them a lot better when they come in from working and everything," said Turman.

”He treats people the way they should be treated," said Ammons.

Ammons said his dorm has been subjected to eight major shakedowns in the last four years and never brought anything back. He plans to keep it that way because he wants to get out in six weeks.

“Tired of being in here. Ain’t worth it," said Ammons.

The sheriff served up his visit to Ammons and his fellow work release inmates and ended up getting a surprise himself: no contraband, no additional charges needed to be filed, a clean shakedown from top to bottom.

Sheriff Turman said the donated basketball goal and ball have also played a role in keeping work release inmates busy and less inclined to bring in illegal contraband.

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