Morgan County Commission raising the cost of sending town inmates to county jail

Updated: Jan. 14, 2020 at 6:00 PM CST
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Tuesday, the Morgan County Commission sent a message to the municipalities that look to the county jail to house their inmates.

The cost of sending suspected criminals to jail is going up.

The commission passed a contract that will require Priceville, Somerville, Falkville, Hartselle and Trinity to pay an extra $8 per inmate, per day, to keep them in the county jail.

The raise brings the price tag per inmate per day to $31, the estimated cost of holding an inmate in the Morgan County Jail.

As of Jan. 14, the jail holds just nine inmates who would qualify for this cost hike. If that number is maintained for an entire year, the cost increase would translate to an extra $26,280 for the jail.

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Mike Swafford said the jail cut staff and renegotiated with vendors to get to the cost of holding inmates down from $39/inmate/day.

“So instead of just walking into a kitchen at your house and say ‘oh I’ll make french toast today’ you have a whole plan for the week, using efficiently, all the supplies you’ve ordered for that week,” he said.

The towns have until April 1 to sign on, or find somewhere else for their inmates.

The contract lasts for one year, and Commission Chairman Ray Long said it’s possible the commission will revisit it to adjust the rates with the cost of holding future inmates.

He said he doesn’t expect any push back from the towns.

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