Press-Republican

Wednesday

March 13, 2013

Franklin County Sheriff looking to reduce inmate trips

(Continued)

Another 146 inmates were boarded out, either because of overcrowding or mental-health issues.

JAIL ALTERNATIVE

Mulverhill said that overcrowding could have been worse if not for the Alternative to Incarceration Program, which allows non-violent offenders to be released to home monitoring.

That program saw 67 inmates housed at home and monitored with an ankle bracelet in 2012, which saved roughly $705,300, since it costs about $100 per day per inmate for housing at the County Jail.

The sheriff said the $70,000 program costs, including the $4.50 daily charge to track each offender electronically, provided a net savings of $600,000 to taxpayers.

The program started on Feb. 3, 2011, and by the end of that year, 65 people were wearing bracelets, saving the county about $500,000.

Four inmates in 2011 and then in 2012 violated the terms of their home-monitor release and returned to jail, he said.

OTHER INITIATIVES

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Association purchased a Child Safe Identification System for $5,000 to provide an ID card with a photo, fingerprint and other information that can be easily accessed and forwarded to the Amber Alert System if a child is reported missing.

According to the report, the Sheriff’s Department also:

▶ Established a website, www.franklincountysheriffsoffice.us, and Facebook page.

▶ Obtained free military-surplus vehicles and equipment, including a truck and covered trailer and a 10-passenger van.

▶ Arranged for inmates to perform janitorial work, snow removal and lawn care at both the jail and Emergency Services Building next door.

“We hope to expand that to work projects to help in the community,” Mulverhill said, such as the Gleaning Program operated by the Joint Council on Economic Opportunity (JCEO).

He said inmates can’t be forced to work until they are sentenced, and that participation depends on their type of conviction, so there are few who might qualify to work outside the jail.

Email Denise A. Raymo:draymo@pressrepublican.com

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