Jailbirds Cost County Over $2K Daily

KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor

Jailbirds Cost County Over $2K Daily
Crime prevention costs the taxpayers of Cannon County over $1.6 million per year.

That figures includes both the cost of running the Cannon County Sheriff's Department and the Cannon County Jail.

Cannon Countians spend almost as much money each year housing, guarding, feeding and caring for county jail inmates as they do putting deputies on the streets to conduct patrols, respond to emergencies and investigate crimes.

According to Cannon County Jail Administrator Ed Brown there are, on average, 65 inmates at the jail every day of the year. About a third of those are female.

Based on the current fiscal year's budget of $759,783 to operate the facility, inmates as a total cost taxpayers nearly $2,100 every day of the year.

The jail does receive some money for state prisoners it houses, on average about five per day, but the $35 per day falls short of the amount it costs, Sheriff Darrell Young said.

The bulk of the jail money is spent on corrections officers, or guards, of which the jail normally has 10. Brown said one guard quit on Tuesday of last week, which is a frequent occurrence.

"The pay is not very good, relatively speaking, so we have a lot of turnover in manpower," Brown said.

Brown said two guards are on duty on both the day and night shifts. There are also guards who work "power shifts" which are from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Another large jail expense according to Brown is transporting prisoners. That involves transporting them from the jail to the courthouse for court, going to surrounding counties and bring them here for court, and taking them to doctor's offices for medical care.

"One week alone we might burn six or seven tanks of gas just getting them (inmates) places they have to go," Brown said.

Included in the yearly expenses of operation the jail are:

A Jail Administrator - $25,450.

An Assistant Jail Administrator - $24,532.

Transportation Personnel - $48,825.

Guards - $242,174.

Cafeteria Personnel - $43,879.

Maintenance Personnel - $25,083.

Social Security - $25,400.

Medicare - $6,000.

Medical and Dental Services - $147,740.

Maintenance and Repair Services - $25,000.

Travel - $1,500.

Custodial Supplies - $16,000.

Food Supplies - $66,100.

Utilities - $50,000.

Other Supplies and Material - $8,600.

Food Service Equipment - $2,000.

Office Equipment - $1,500.