Inmates May Soon Pay to Stay

August 18, 2005--Posted at 6:00 pm CDT

Independence Co.--Nearly six months ago we told you about howIndependence County was struggling to curb their rising jail costs. 


While the sheriff’s office was being run efficiently the jail was well into the red due to inmate costs skyrocketing.  Drugs like meth were being blamed for increases in dental care and the rise of high blood pressure and diabetes among the prison population.

Now nearly six months later there is a lot of good news coming out from the jail. 


Officials say costs have been cut way down and the facility is being run much more smoothly.  An in house nurse has been hired to curb inmate costs and now the facility is looking to add on a part time physician to help out as well.   


While there is a lot of good coming out of the jail the problem still remains, inmate costs are still well over where they should be.

Now officials are looking into following Jackson and Izard counties as well as others in charging inmates ‘rent.’ 


The cost, nearly forty-five dollars a day, would go to help pay for inmate medical visits and upkeep of the jail. 


Much is still not known about the plan including how money would be spent and how officials would get inmates to pay. 


“We are still at step one here.” Quorum Court member Bobby Galloway says, “We are just now working out small details and seeing if this plan is feasible."

At this time the only thing officials can promise is any help they receive would be money back into the pockets of tax payers.