|San Jacinto News Times - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Housing inmates profitable for county
COLDSPRING – The San Jacinto County Sheriff's Department is working on agreements with four counties, offering inmate services to help pay off the county's one-half million annual note for recent jail expansion. "Housing inmates from other counties provides us with income to help pay for jail expansion," San Jacinto County Judge Fritz Faulkner said. "We just paid off a 1998 note and will be paying an annual note for one-half million on a second note for some time." Faulkner praised Sheriff David Clark for his work in obtaining contracts with surrounding counties who have an overflow of inmates and need somewhere to house them. During the last commissioners' court meeting, a contract with Madison County for jail services was approved by commissioners. Commissioners are expected to approve contracts with Tyler and Walker counties during this week's commissioners' court meeting. "The sheriff's office has been in contact with numerous counties concerning inmate housing; however, we are only working on four counties at the present time," Clark said. Clark said the county has about 100 jail beds that are available for overflow inmates from other counties. "In the past the county has received annually over a quarter of a million dollars for housing inmates," Faulkner said. "We will house inmates from other counties under two different plans," Clark said. One plan is for $25 per day per inmate, which includes the cost of food; the contracted county will be responsible for transportation and medical services. The other plan is for $30 per day per inmate and San Jacinto County will house inmates short term who have received a pen packet and are waiting to go to Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). "At $25 per day, one inmate would bring $9,125 into our county and at $30 per day, one inmate would bring $10,950 into our county," Clark said. "This residual income will help to pay for the certificate of obligation for the jail expansion," Clark said. The San Jacinto County Jail has a 144 bed capacity. Currently 40 of those beds are filled by county inmates.