Help for the jails | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Help for the jails

Posted By on Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Republican Rep. Allen Kerr, R-Real World, announces a bill today to up the reimbursement rate for state prisoners held in county jails from $28 to $40 a day. Kerr, who fought the Pulaski County financial and jail problems as a JP, knows whereof he speaks about the problems with operating a jail overstuffed with people who should be in prison.

Does this fit the governor's spending plans? Hope so. UPDATE: John Williams reminds me the legislature earlier passed legislation to increase fines to provide money for a higher reimbursement rate.

KERR NEWS RELEASE

HB1590 Filed to increase reimbursement for state prisoners held in county jails

Representative Allen Kerr files bill to increase state reimbursement for counties holding state prisoners from $28/day to $40/day.

Little Rock, AR – HB1590 was filed today to increase the payments from $28/day to $40/day to reimburse county jails for holding state prisoners.

In a statement today Representative Kerr said, “As a former Justice of the Peace and chair of the county budget committee, I know the challenges counties face funding their jails. The rate paid to the counties by the state has not changed since 2001. It is time for the state to increase those payments to help offset the cost of the state prisoners to the counties.”

The projected impact on the state budget is expected to be no more than $8 million. This figure depends on the number of prisoners and the number of days the state houses the prisoners in the county jails. “My hope is that the state will speed up the process of moving inmates to state prisons so that county jail beds will be available to keep criminals off our streets. When I first
ran for office, my commitment was to public safety. I believe providing additional revenue to our counties to operate the local jails is important step in making our communities safer,” Kerr said.

This legislation is scheduled for the March 4, 2009 agenda for the House Committee on City,
Local, and County affairs.

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