IT'S YOUR MONEY: Taxpayers Cover Cost of Housing Inmates

3 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago May 16, 2013 May 16, 2013 Thursday, May 16 2013 Thursday, May 16, 2013 7:28:00 AM CDT in News
By: Emily Spain

COLE COUNTY - Thanks to your tax dollars, the doors at county jails stay locked. The county operation keeps local criminals off the streets and away from your family.

"Constitutionally what our jails are designed to do, is to detain those people that are either a flight risk or someone that is dangerous to the community," Cole County Sheriff Greg White said.

However, your safety comes at a price. Boone County jail administrator Warren Brewer said the county works its best to keep the cost to taxpayers down. Right now, the county speends more than $4 million every year to house an average of 200 inmates. Break that down, taxpayers spend $59.63 to put one criminal in jail for one day, which covers inmates' meals, medical care and shelter. Brewer said that also covers maintenance fees and building depreciation.

"Payroll is your biggest expense, but I just think we do a good job for the money," he said. He added that Boone County wants to keep salaries for county employees competitive in order to attract good workers.

Cole County Sheriff Greg White said his county's taxpayers spend more money than Boone County per day per inmate, partly because of its brand-new jail. Cole County residents pay closer to $70 per inmate per day. Like Brewer, White stands behind that cost.

"Based on the new structure and still feeling through staffing, we feel that that's probably the absolute best that we can do at this point," White said.

It costs Boone County and Cole County the most to lock up bad guys compared to other counties in our viewing area, but they're also home to two of the largest jails in mid-Missouri.  I

"I don't see medical prices going down in the future," White said. "You've seen the increase in grocery prices, all of that gets passed on to the inmate population as well."

There are measures in place to pay back counties, but it doesn't always happen. The state pays county jails back about $20 for the time state-sentenced inmates are housed there, but that's still less than half of what it costs to house them.

"I think the big issue for most sheriffs across the state of Missouri is we wish the state would pay the actual cost, we understand that they have budget constraints like everyone else," White said.

It is law for inmates to pay their dues to jails for the time they spent locked up, but Brewer explained the county won't find any money there.

"Most of them don't own property, they don't have a good job or they don't have a job at all and we would expend more I think...in trying to get money back then we would actually obtain in doing so," Brewer said.

Missouri lawmakers are discussing a bill this session to try and help repay county jails. Senate Bill 42 would keep former inmates from getting lottery winnings, tax refunds and recreational licenses until they pay jails back for their stay. The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Brian Munzlinger and is currently in conference with Friday being the last day in the 2013 session.  

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - As an event promoter for Off Track Events, Colin LaVaute has planned plenty of races in his work... More >>
4 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 3:01:00 AM CDT in News
Over 600 people in south Columbia experienced power outages around 11pm Sunday night, according to Columbia Water and Light. ... More >>
7 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 11:44:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
BOONE COUNTY - Flooding along the banks of the Missouri River caused a change of plans for some Mid-Missouri residents... More >>
13 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 6:02:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - This year's Memorial Day parade will take a different route through downtown Columbia in an effort to limit... More >>
15 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 3:38:00 PM CDT in News
BUCKHORN – The annual Mid-America Freedom Rally (MAFR) held an Honor Guard Ceremony Sunday afternoon. The event is a Memorial... More >>
16 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 3:02:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia Parks and Recreation finished renovations to the Lake of the Woods Golf Course last Friday. Attracting... More >>
16 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 2:40:00 PM CDT in News
TIPTON - Authorities are investigating a shooting that left a 19-year-old dead in Tipton late Saturday night. According to... More >>
17 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 1:51:00 PM CDT in News
MOBERLY – Mid-Missourians could immerse themselves in history this Memorial Day weekend at a World War II reenactment in Moberly.... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 7:39:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
CENTRALIA — A Memorial Day display in Centralia is one that turns heads as people pass by. The "Avenue... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 5:26:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - VFW Post 2657 celebrated Memorial Day with the sale of “Buddy” Poppies. VFW members and volunteers stood... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 3:08:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The 28th annual Salute to Veterans Celebration and Air Show took flight Saturday at the Columbia Regional Airport.... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 1:08:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers took steps this year to address the growing number of drug overdoses, but health... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 12:54:44 PM CDT in News
BUTLER (AP) — A western Missouri community is grieving after the death of a spunky 12-year-old who was killed in... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 11:41:14 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – While many convenience stores are working extra hours to keep up with record-breaking Memorial Day travel predictions ,... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 11:02:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City woman who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old... More >>
2 days ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 11:10:23 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — A 22-year-old man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries Friday after he was shot twice.... More >>
2 days ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 10:52:00 PM CDT in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A man has been arrested and charged in the death of a man whose body was... More >>
2 days ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 8:15:25 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Friday as severe storms could bring more flooding throughout... More >>
2 days ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 7:38:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 66°
8am 69°
9am 74°
10am 79°
11am 83°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
2016 French Open
7:30a
Cops Reloaded
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2016 Stanley Cup Final
7:00p
Memorial Day
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld