Price to house inmates at Madison County Jail increases

Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 4:06 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The cost to house an inmate inside the Madison County Jail is now 20 percent more expensive. It costs $55.

WAFF found out the jail averages 1,000 inmates every day. Taxpayer dollars are still paying millions of dollars for inmates who should be in state prison.

Members of the Madison County Commission are passing the price increases to cities and towns that use the facility.

“Salaries have gone up, equipment that goes up at the jail to watch the inmates went up, our health care provider at the jail has gone up, so all of those things start adding up, and you have to recoup your costs at some time. It changed from $45 to $55,” said Commissioner Phil Vandiver.

Millions of dollars are spent every year taking care of the inmates. In October of 2021, WAFF did an investigation and found out, there were about 300 inmates in Madison County Jail who should have been moved to state prisons.

“After an inmate has been in the county jail and been convicted of a crime, 30 days, he’s supposed to be housed by the state. Well, they were leaving them 60, 90, 120, 180, they were leaving them in our jails a lot longer,” said Vandiver.

This week, we found out the Department of Corrections has picked up the slack and picked up more than half of the 300 past due inmates.

“I just got an email today. We’re down to 123,” said Vandiver.

That’s 123 inmates, of the one thousand who are still here at Madison County Jail, that Madison County taxpayers are paying for.

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