TCSA 2017 Legislative Platform
Jails and Correctional Facilities
The housing and healthcare costs of maintaining a state prisoner population in a local jail facility remain a top priority for TCSA as its membership continues to face pressures created by providing this service to the state. Just as the state prison system is experiencing growth in the amount the state spends on its prison population each year, counties face the same predicament in local jails. One of the fastest growing populations in local jails is the backlog of convicted felons who are awaiting space within a state prison. With that said, TCSA reaffirms its long-standing position that the $37 per diem for housing state inmates in local jails is grossly inadequate for funding the total cost of housing such prisoners. TCSA wants to work with the Administration and General Assembly to develop a funding mechanism that will one day better reflect the actual cost, which includes such things as unpaid medical expenses and the transportation of inmates, including those seeking mental health evaluations. To that end, TCSA urges lawmakers to authorize new cost saving measures to help reduce the financial burden, particularly rising inmate medical costs, that counties face in dealing with the cost of housing all prisoners and we encourage the Administration and General Assembly to take all appropriate steps to better manage the state inmate population so as to alleviate the backlog of convicted felons housed in jails.
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