Commentary

Milam Jail full house with new Coryell inmates

Back in April we announced that Milam County had signedafive-yearcontract w ith Cor yell County to house their excess inmates in the Milam County Jail.

We expected to house an average of about 40 inmates in the early going which should net us an annual income of $300,000 to $500,000 depending on the actual number of inmates minus incremental costs of housing them.

We’re of f and r unning, so I want to give you an update on how it’s going, what Sheriff David Greene and Doug Veach and the jail crew have encountered so far in this significant increase in their workload.

We picked up the first load of inmates in mid May and by the first of June we were running over 40 on a regular basis, the highest so far has been 46.

It appears that we will easily average 40, most have been male prisoners to date.

Since the contract calls for us to transpor t the inmates to and from Gatesville and to state facilities—you may view the contract on our web site at www.milamcounty.net—we have purchased an additional van and hired two deputies to perform this function.

We anticipate purchasing one additional vehicle. Total annual additional costs are anticipated to r un from $150,000 to $200,000 thousand including the above mentioned costs.

At an average of 40 inmates, income will run about $625,000 per year, so you can see our early estimates of net income so far are on track.

Our jail capacit y for male inmates is 112 and 32 for female inmates (one hallway being designated for females only per jail code).

We have an additional 16 individual holding cells, 10 for males and 6 for females,which have restricted use due to jail code.

I point this out so that you will understand that maximum capacity is not always achievable due to variation in male/female mix and individual cell usage.

Also we must keep a few cells open to accommodate local dayto day arrests.

Recently we had to place several inmates in the Lee County jail on a temporary basis due to reaching capacity on male inmates.

In my opinion this is a nice problem to have after going for months and months with our jail being severely underutilized. Suddenly we’re full. We’re making money.

At the same time we’re having to spend a little money to make sure we have a few open cells in case someone locally is arrested and we need a place to put them.

Lee County charges us $43 per day to house an inmate, same as we’re charging Coryell County. This is going to happen from time to time when we’re running near capacity, particularly on the men’s side of the unit.

We were averaging about 80 local prisoners when we signed the contract with Coryell, we peaked at over a hundred local inmates when we had to send seven to L ee Count y as we reached capacity with 40 plus from Coryell County.

Go figure. We knew this would happen, just didn’t expect it in the first month into the contract.

Judge Firth told me we couldn’t handle their business when I asked him for it, said we were too small; my counter to his argument was for him to let us worry about that, we could handle it. So here we are.


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2012-06-21 digital edition



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