As their jail renovation and expansion project comes to a close, space has opened up that could house additional inmates and help generate more revenue for the county.
“The county had some additional bed space that will carry us into the future,” said Talladega County Chief Deputy Jimmy Kilgore. “Right now we have an extra pod and that has 53 beds.”
The county commission approved the contract with the state DOC to house up to 53 of the state inmates at the county jail that currently has an average inmate population anywhere between 225 an 230.
“And that’s down a little bit right now so we’ve got the available space that we’re going to lease out to the state and generally add some revenue,” Kilgore said.
The state DOC is paying $15 per inmate per day.
The county could receive an additional $290,175 in revenue to house 53 inmates for one year.
The state DOC will also be responsible for paying all medical costs incurred by all of the state inmates.
The jail already has an inmate co-pay system set up where the inmate pays a fee for their own medical services; the state inmates will also have their medical fees set up through the co-pay system by the state DOC.
The jail will also receive $1.75 a day from the state DOC to feed the state inmates; this is the same cost that is made to feed current jail inmates.
“There’s also the possibly that we’ll be able to do something in the future to house some more inmates and we’re exploring that option which would again raise additional revenue,” Kilgore said.
Kilgore said officials with the state DOC have said that they would not send violent and troubled inmates, so management would not be a problem.
“The ones that we do get if they do become a problem we can just turn them over to the state and they can get them and take them back,” Kilgore said.
Discussions and meetings are ongoing and no exact date has been set of yet, but inmates could be sent over as early as the first of March.
Now that the contract has been approved by the commission, it is headed back to the state DOC who will make the final approval.
“I think that’ll happen relatively quickly,” Kilgore said. “Once that’s done and complete, we can receive them and they can come rolling in.”
Kilgore attributed this partnership with the state DOC to an ongoing effort to complete the jail expansion project that he says was direly needed, without having to put any additional taxes on Talladega County residents.
“That was done with a tremendous cooperation effort between our municipal officers, county commission and sheriff,” Kilgore said. “It’s really a win-win situation for everybody.”
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