Candidates talk prison changes amid race for Lauderdale sheriff

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office drew national attention after a corrections officer helped an inmate escape from the Lauderdale County Jail in April. Now three candidates are hoping to replace current Sheriff Rick Singleton in the next election – and implement some changes to the jail so something like this doesn’t happen again.

The Lauderdale County sheriff race has been a hot topic ever since Vicky White, a Lauderdale County corrections officer, facilitated the escape of inmate Casey White.

All three candidates for the job have said they will conduct a prison investigation, including John Randall McCrary, who has worked with the Rogersville Police Department and says that will be one of his main focuses.

“I’ve been preaching the whole campaign that we need to deal with this and fix what’s broken down there,” McCrary said, referring to the jail. “Protocol there will be a big priority for me.”

Candidate Joe Hamilton served under current Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton as a deputy lieutenant and says Vicky White and Casey White’s situation revealed glaring problems in the jail.

Still, Hamilton thinks the sheriff’s office is ready to deal with them.

“It’s naive to believe that in law enforcement you’re not going to encounter difficult circumstances,” Hamilton said. “And how you react to those circumstances says a lot. And that’s why experience is so important.

News 19 has also contacted the latest sheriff candidate, Max Dotson, who worked with the Sheffield Police Department. Dotson says the security mindset in the prison was poor and taken for granted.

He hopes to change that mindset throughout the sheriff’s department.

There are also two candidates vying for Lauderdale County coroner after the acting coroner resigned earlier this year.


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