Hinds losing money on housing inmates - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hinds losing money on housing inmates

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RAYMOND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Just over 70 percent of the inmates at the Hinds County Detention Center in Raymond were arrested in the City of Jackson, and the city pays the county $3.3 million a year to house those inmates.

"However, it costs us $14 million and some change to operate that facility," says District 4 Supervisor Tony Greer. "What we're doing right now is supplementing everybody else's budget, other cities' budget, the county is doing that, to the tune of $6-9 million a year. I estimated what we've lost since 2007 and I figure that number is somewhere in the $44 million range."

The inmate-subsidizing issue has been brought up before among Hinds County Supervisors. But at next week's meeting, Supervisor Greer plans to ask for action on forging a new,  comprehensive agreement that Jackson, Clinton, Byram and Raymond will all have to sign. He wants each municipality to pay the total estimated cost to house their inmates. He says the additional funds will be enough to service a bond issue for a new, more efficient and secure detention center.

The current agreement is outdated, inadequate, and open-ended, Greer says, and taxpayers deserve more.

"We are going to be prudent with the taxpayers' money. Estimated medical costs for inmates would not be included in each city's fee. That cost would be billed back to the city when it's incurred.

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