Hardin County jailer worried state budget could cost him and county millions
The Hardin County Detention Center has 648 beds, but the current inmate count is 721.
HARDIN COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Hardin County Jailer is worried that over-crowding could lose him his most well-behaved inmates, which could cost him and the county millions of dollars.
The Hardin County Detention Center has 648 beds, but the current inmate count is 721. Of those inmates, Chief Deputy John Timbers says about 10 percent of them are the most well-behaved in the jail and contribute back to society.
“We mow and maintain a lot of the county properties,” Timbers said. “Helping Hands, Feed America, a lot of different organizations throughout the community that our inmates go out on a daily basis.”
And it's those inmates he and Hardin County Jailer Danny Allen are worried about losing because of inmate overcrowding.
“We clean all the courthouses here in Hardin County (and) county attorney's office,” Allen said.
He said it would cost taxpayers more than a $1 million to replace them, because the inmates only get paid 60 cents a day.
“If they had to hire those folks at minimum wage, it's about $1.8 million," Allen said.
In the state budget, the Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet would review county jails for overcrowding. The plan is to move 2,327 inmates into recommissioned private correctional facilities in Wheelwright, St. Mary's and Beattyville by 2018.
“If you're going to have private prisons, they should receive the same income from the state that we receive,” Allen said.
Hardin County receives about $31 a day per state inmate, whereas Allen said private facilities can receive $45 to $55 dollars per inmate.
Losing some of the best-behaved inmates, Allen said, would cost the jail about $500,000.
To offset the cost from the budget proposal, Allen thinks more inmates would need to be placed on home-incarceration or weekend incarceration.
Lawmakers are hoping to have the budget passed by April 12.
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