County Looks to Lock Up; Bail Out

October 15, 2004--Posted 5:15 pm CDT

Independence County--IfIndependence county officials have their way, they could end up putting you behind bars, then springing you out.  The idea is to create an officially licensed bail bonding office owned by the sheriffs department, essentially holding the counties finest to making sure you show up for court.


“We are not sure if this is going to work.” Sheriff Keith Bowers says, “We are just trying to be creative.”  A budget shortfall is the reason the county is trying to be creative.  Inmate expenses associated with medical and dental services are being blamed for the agency running in the red.  Now the quorum court and other county officials want to hear ideas on how to correct the problem.


The sheriff’s department is saving money in other ways as well.  Before, they were being forced to take all inmates complaining of medical problems out of the jail and to a doctor.  Now they have an on site medical person on site at the jail to treat and help diagnose the severity of a problem.


Sheriff Bowers says it is way too soon to know how much money could be raised by a bail bond service.  It would take about fifty to sixty thousand dollars in order to break even once again.