Once again jail population was discussed at the Logan County Fiscal court meeting, when Jailer Phil Gregory reported the inmate population at 195.
“There are 89 state inmates and 106 county,” said Gregory Tuesday. “We became over-populated on the county side, so I had to shift state inmates to other facilities.”
Gregory said the loss in 27 state inmates could amount to a loss of incoming revenue of $300,000 annually.
An inmate is classified as state when they have been sentenced and are serving their time. A county inmate is still awaiting the judicial process. The state pays $31.34 per day for a state inmates stay at the jail, whereas the county tax dollars pay for a county inmates stay. Because of this, the county has to subsidize the jail each year.
Magistrate Dickie Carter believes the county needs to look into building onto the jail. Gregory agrees, saying something needs to be done. Gregory has been trying to increase the amount of state inmates housed in Logan County to help offset the cost to the county, but is having to either turn them away or send them out due to over-crowding.
Gregory recently put in 41 additional beds at the jail in hopes of increasing state numbers, which he has done.
Magistrate Thomas Bouldin isn’t sure this is the route the county should take by expanding the current jail.
“No one has done a study yet on the jail to see if it would be more economical to build on verses sending state inmates somewhere else,” said Bouldin. “We need a detailed study to see what the cheapest way would be for the county. I want those incarcerated to be there if they have broken the law.”
Bouldin went on to say it didn’t make sense to build a $3 million wing just to house county inmates to make room for state inmates.
Gregory said he didn’t know where the $3 million came from. Bouldin explained he was just throwing out a number, but that the jailer could probably get a closer cost by contacting the department of corrections, and asking how much it would cost per square foot to build onto the type of jail Logan County has.
“We need to get an idea of cost,” said Carter. “Maybe we can build barracks.”
Judge Executive Logan Chick said the court needed to get more information before making any decisions.
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