Medical Services

The Medical Unit consists of an examination/treatment room, x-ray and dental suite, medication area, mini-lab, patient waiting room, and cells for housing observation patients.  Staffing is provided 24/7, and consists of RNs, LPNs, Medical Assistants, X-ray Tech, Lab Tech, Dentist, Dental Assistant, Physician, Nurse Practitioner, and a Mental Health Professional.

The range of services includes medical, dental, mental, and preventive healthcare. Screening for TB, HIV, and Syphilis is offered as well.  Area hospitals and medical specialists are regularly utilized.

All individuals receive an initial healthcare screening while in the booking area of the Detention Center.  Once they are moved to the housing units, a more thorough examination is conducted in the Medical Unit by a RN, physician, or nurse practitioner.  Necessary medications and treatments are provided, and chronic medical conditions are followed regularly by the physician, nurse practitioner, or an appropriate outside medical specialist.

In addition to the chronic care services that are delivered, Health Appraisals, Yearly Physicals, Sick Call Requests, Nurse Evaluations, and Urgent Evaluations are conducted daily in the Medical Unit.  Medical staff likewise responds to emergent needs within each unit.  Mental health needs are addressed by the Mental Health Officer in the form of Mental Health Evaluations, Mental Health Follow-ups, and necessary counseling. CED Mental Health Center assists with providing routine psychiatric services.       

Doctors’ Care Physicians, P.C.

Dr. Roger BuckDoctors’ Care Physicians, P.C., of Gadsden, AL, is the medical contractor for the Etowah County Detention Center.  The group has been providing services to the Detention Center since 2005.

Doctors’ Care is a primary care group practice, founded in 1984, by Roger S. Buck, MD who is the Medical Director.

Cassi R. Kellett, RN, MSN

Cassi R. Kellett, RN, MSN serves as the Health Services Administrator.  Both are Certified Correctional Healthcare Professionals, and the Etowah County Detention Center is accredited by the National Commission for Correctional Healthcare.



To plan, implement, maintain, and manage the efficient use of personnel and resources for operational success.


To work together as a team of motivated and positive public servants in accomplishing our mission of efficient personnel and resource management.

We will serve by:

    1. Equipping the Operations Division in providing safe, secure, standardized, and accountable detention for Etowah County.
    2. Empowering our personnel through training and ongoing educational opportunities to serve with integrity and professionalism.
    3. Enhancing our partnership with Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE) as we assist in accomplishing their mission.
    4. Efficiently manage and maintain the use of equipment, technology, and resources.



The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office Detention Operations Division proudly serves as a team of professionals who daily display integrity and accountability, while providing safe, secure, stimulating, and standardized detention for Etowah County, Alabama.

The Operations Division, of the Department of Detention, is the largest division within the Sheriff’s Office.  More than two-thirds of the detention center’s almost one hundred staff is assigned to Operations.  This division is composed of three sections: Custody, Programs, and Compliance.  With the support of the Logistics Division (link to Logistics Division), these teams manage the daily operation of the facility. 

Captain Gregory Harwood serves as executive officer for the Operations Division.  He may be contacted directly by e-mail at

Custody Section

The Custody Section is responsible for inmate and detainee custody and care from initial intake until release. The Custody Section serves as liaison to the Courts for scheduling inmate court appearances and to Patrol for transportation to and from the Alabama Department of Corrections.

The intake/release team is led by Lt. David Weaver. He may be reached directly by telephone at 256-439-3487. 

The day time and night time teams are led by Lt. Brittany Hamilton, Lt. Jessica Murray, Lt. Andy Reed and Lt. Heath Yates. They may be reached directly by telephone at 256-439-3487.

Booking Unit

Booking is the entry and exit point of the Detention Center.  In booking, all who enter are first searched.  The belongings of the inmate/detainee are inventoried in their presence and then secured.  Each person is interviewed concerning personal and emergency contact information.  Photographs, commonly referred to as “mug shots,” are then taken.   Through a series of identification number checks and fingerprinting, the true identity of the inmate is determined.  These queries search to determine if a person is wanted by any other law enforcement agency.   Based on the arrestee’s charges, bond conditions, probation or parole, and warrants by other agencies, determination is made if the person can be released.

For those not eligible to be released, further checks are conducted to include: medical and mental health needs, initial security classification and housing unit assignment.  When appropriate, additional search of inmates may be conducted prior to detention center clothing being issued.  A shower is located in the changing room and may be used by the inmate.  Personal clothing is inventoried along with other property and placed in property storage. Inmates/detainees with cash at the time of booking place their money into a kiosk which creates an account that can be used to purchase items from the detention center.

For information regarding inmates/detainees in custody, you may call 256-549-5408 or email

Housing Units

Once the booking process is complete, the person is then escorted to one of ten housing units.  Within the minimum and medium custody housing units, there are no barriers separating detention deputies and the inmates/detainees.  This type of detention center management is known as direct supervision.

According to the National Institute of Corrections, this design allows staff to interact continuously with inmates in the housing units, actively supervising them to identify problems in their early stages.  Detention deputies utilize basic management techniques to prevent negative behavior and encourage positive behavior.  This allows staff to maintain direct control of the housing unit and establish a professional supervisory relationship with inmates.

In special management and maximum security housing units, inmates/detainees are often separated from others housed in those units.  In these housing arrangements, detention deputies monitor the activity of the unit indirectly through security glass and video surveillance.

Program Section

The Program Section is responsible for facilitating a wide range of inmate/detainee programming.  Courses, sessions, and projects involve educational, therapeutic, religious, social, recreational, special needs, and community service activities.  Each member of the Program Team specializes in a unique subject area to better facilitate programing in their area of responsibility.  Regularly, over one hundred and twenty five volunteers from educational, religious, and civic organizations give of their time as part of the Programs Team.

The Program Section is lead by supervisor Sgt. Carrie McClung.  She may be contacted directly by telephone at 256-549-2194.

Substance Abuse Prevention Program

In mid 2004, Dr. Scott Hassell, Chief Deputy of Detention, began the Substance Abuse Prevention Program (SAPP) inside the Detention Center. Since its inception, it has diverted over 1500 individuals from the Alabama Department of Corrections.

This single act has saved Alabama’s General Fund millions of dollars at zero additional cost to the taxpayer (by using existing resources). In the past few years, the program has grown to serve males and females, includes a work release component and has created a partnership with: Court, Aftercare, Community Corrections, CRO, local industry and countless others. We hope to serve as a model of how government and private sectors can work together to solve problems that face our community.

SAPP is a “Therapeutic Community” based program that uses the “Living in Balance” recovery and other scientific based curriculum to effect change in the participants. The program is a minimum of 26 weeks, but may be extended based upon the participants’ performance and involvement. Due to the high demand for the program and the limited resources, we currently only accept court ordered persons from courts of the 16th Judicial Circuit.

Influence Program

In partnership with Keep Etowah Beautiful Inc., the Influence Program started in 1993.  Supervised by a detention deputy, inmates daily walk the roadways of Etowah County picking up litter and other debris.  Inmates selected for the Influence Program are nonviolent offenders who volunteer for the job. After a background check, they are approved by jail administration. 

Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic recreation is a service that provides recreation activities to individuals within the detention center to improve or maintain physical, mental and emotional well-being and help reduce depression, stress and anxiety.

Recreational activities help participants develop basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities, build confidence and socialize more effectively. Activities may incorporate arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, and competitive events.

The recreation program is based on the Adventure Programming model and is scientifically proved to meet the therapeutic needs of the participants with the ultimate goal of reducing recidivism.

Renew Our Rivers

The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office is working to clean up the county by joining the efforts of Renew Our River.  More than 35 inmates, from the Substance Abuse Prevention Program, spend time each April picking up trash and removing debris from the river banks of the Coosa River.

Renew Our Rivers is an award-winning environmental river cleanup program that began as Renew the Coosa, a vision of retired Alabama Power employee Gene Phifer.  Now in its 18th year, more than 10 million pounds of trash and debris have been removed from Alabama and Southeast rivers.


Weekly, volunteers affiliated with various religions come into the detention center and present programing to inmates/detainees.  Accommodations are made to allow inmates/detainees to observe and participate in religious activities as they personally desire.


Regularly, over one hundred and twenty five volunteers from educational, religious, and civic organizations give of their time as part of the Programs Team.  All volunteers must go through an application, interview, and background investigation process.

Compliance Section

The Compliance Section is responsible to provide oversight to ensure adherence to local, state, and federal laws and accreditation standards in all aspects of the detention center.   Each member of the Compliance Team specializes in a unique subject area to provide specific guidance to administration and staff on these matters.  Compliance Team members serve as advocates for inmates and detainees, answering requests, assisting in meeting needs, and resolving conflict among inmates/detainees and detention deputies.  

The Compliance Section is led by Captain Mike O’Bryant. He may be contacted by email at

Accreditation and Standards 

The Etowah County Detention Center proudly maintains accreditation in Core Jail Standards through the American Correctional Association (ACA)

Etowah County partners with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) in support of their mission in promoting homeland security and public safety.  To this end, the facility maintains compliance with ICE standards.

Message From the Sheriff

Sheriff Jonathon W HortonWelcome to the Etowah County Sheriff's Office official website. I am pleased you have visited our site and hope you find it informative. It is my Honor to Serve as Your Sheriff. The Sheriff's Office provides law enforcement services to the people of Etowah County through...

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