With a little over a year under his belt serving as jailer, Phil Gregory has exceeded his speculation for revenue generated by increasing state inmate population over the past fiscal year at the county jail. From June 2015 through May 2016, the jail has generated $1,111,441 from the state, which is money going to the county to off-set the cost of the jail. This has been no easy task for the first-time jailer, however, it has been a goal he set for himself before winning the election in 2014.
“I always knew the jail could make more money. I just needed a chance to get in there and try,” said Gregory. With the addition of 42 beds, Gregory began boosting the state population one year ago by working with county attorney Joe Ross and the judicial system. The quicker an inmate can be processed, the faster their status can turn from county inmate to state inmate.
A state inmate is someone who has been through the judicial process, received sentencing, and is serving out their time. A county inmate is someone who is awaiting judicial process.
A portion of a state inmates stay at a detention center is paid for through state funding, which technically is taxpayer’s money, however, a county inmates stay is paid for by county coffers, which means local taxes that could be spent in the community if not used to house an inmate waiting to be processed.
“The more state inmates you have at your jail, the more money you make,” said Gregory.
Logan County’s former long-serving jailer Bill Jenkins, who retired from the position, didn’t feel that increasing the state numbers was good for Logan County. He had previously told fiscal court, when pushed for an increase, that bringing in inmates from other areas could cause problems at the jail.
So far, according to Gregory, there haven been no problems with the increase, except trying to get the county numbers down.
As of Tuesday, June 14, there were 191 inmates lodged in the Logan County Detention Center. Out of that total, 128 were classified as state and 63 county.
“We are still a little high on the county numbers, but we are working everyday to lower those.” said Gregory, adding he couldn’t have a successful jail without professional employees and all those who help.
“This is a combined effort. The success of the jail comes from those who work there, fiscal court support, cooperation from the judicial branches, and all of our community partners who provide programs and education for the future of inmates,” Gregory said. “This isn’t a one man show. It takes numerous partners working together.”
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.