|Calhoun County commissioners have been able to keep up with the regional jail costs, but over the years the jail bill has presented serious problems to the small county budget|
The toll of those costs have been to reduce services.
The Regional Jail Authority last week voted to reduce the daily charge next year by 55 cents per day, making the rate $48.25.
This reduction will result in a cost savings to counties of $516,000, and will mean a few dollars of savings to Calhoun.
The cost for housing prisoners in the regional jails has been sky rocketing, an issue discussed at a recent meeting in Harrison County by commissioners from around the Mountain State.
Fascinatingly, West Virginia has one of the highest incarceration rates in the USA, although the population is stagnate or declining and crime rates have not dramatically increased.
The state has been slow to change sentencing guidelines or use a system of alternative sentencing. Many states have made those changes.
Correction costs are among the biggest drains on county budgets, and the current rate of incarceration is on a fast track to build another prison.
A steering committee made up of commissioners from across the state will work on this topic throughout the legislative session and beyond.
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