Over the last six months, the Logan County Detention Center has generated $487,525 from the housing of state inmates. According to jailer Phil Gregory the detention center will most definitely meet it’s annual budget expectations of $620,000 by the fiscal year end.
“I really don’t want to give a number of how much will be generated by the end of a year, but you can do the math. We will meet what we anticipated for sure, but I think it may be over,” Gregory said.
When the new jail was built several years ago, it was expected to pay for itself with the housing of state inmates. State inmates are those who have gone through the process and have been given their sentencing. The state inmate receives a percentage of their stay at the jail from the commonwealth, where as a county inmate’s stay, who is still awaiting processing, is paid for by the county’s tax base.
By generating more income with the jail, this lowers the amount the county has to pay into the jail each year, being able to utilize citizen’s taxes for other county projects.
“This was something I knew could be done, but hadn’t been done in the past,” said Gregory when he became jailer. “Based on the floor space available at the jail, especially on the class D side, I knew there was revenue right there that was not being tapped into.”
Gregory did a walk through on state side when he came into the jail. He noticed right away there were private cubicles, which to him was unusual because he said he knew other facilities didn’t have that set up. Gregory contacted the state’s Department of Corrections, who after looking at the space, said Logan County’s facility could have eight more bunks per pod.
“We tore out the cubicles and purchased 41 more beds for the whole jail with the approval of the Department of Corrections,” Gregory said. “After that the revenue stated to rise.”
Magistrate Dickie Carter who has been historically hard on the running of the jail in the past, said he now feels like it is running like it should have been all along.
“Phil is doing a good job. By increasing the state population, it is saving the county money,” said Carter. “I was on the court when they built that jail and I remember all the controversy. When it was built the county was not supposed to have to spend more than it was on the old jail – which was $280,000. By housing the Class D prisoners, it was supposed to generate enough to cut that extra cost, but we never did get it built up to what it was supposed to do. But now it is running good.”
Carter says he knows he has criticized the jail for years, but said there were reasons he had.
“You can look at the jail now and see how it is much better. There are more programs, a better atmosphere, and now a better income,” Carter said.
Gregory said he feels the jail may have reached it’s potential at this time. The jail has 164 beds and can legally run 20 percent over while inmates are being processed.
“Everyone is doing the best they can to process inmates in a speedy way, the county attorney and judges are doing all they can, but our county population and the size of the jail limits how many state inmates we can house. We may need a bigger jail in the future,” said Gregory.
Gregory said if he had additional room he could bring in more state inmates.
“We are looking at and discussing building onto the jail and I would not be opposed to it,” Gregory said.
To contact Chris Cooper, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 270-726-8394.