Cost Of Housing Inmates In Hancock County Continues To Rise

1/30/18 – 11:59 A.M.

The cost of housing inmates in Hancock County continues to have a big impact on the budget. As a result, the county commissioners have approved an amendment to a contract with Inmate Health Care Services to cover inmate care costs

Audio:Brian Robertson

Commissioner Brian Robertson says the increasing costs to house inmates combined with flat sales tax revenues is a big issue for the county to contend with

Audio:Brian Robertson

The cost of caring for the inmates increased slightly Tuesday. The commissioners approved an amendment to a contract with Inmate Health Care Services. The change in the deal means the county now pays nearly $318,000 per year to care for inmates. Thats a 1.8 percent increase over last year.

Robertson says the short term inmate housing solution for the county is paying a “hundreds of thousands of dollars” each year to house prisoners in other jails. He says there’s an increased cost for doing that, not to mention safety risks for deputies.

Hancock County currently pays Putnam County to house extra inmates. While Putnam County has a new video arraignment system for inmates there, Robertson says it can only save Hancock County so much. Thats because inmates have the legal right to attend their proceedings.