Lubbock County Detention Center offsets cost with federal inmate - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock County Detention Center offsets cost by receiving federal inmates from Dickens County

By Christie Post - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – The Lubbock County Detention Center received federal inmates from the Dickens County Jail Friday.

The Intergovernmental Service Agreement with the United States Marshals Service will provide the Detention Center with $40 a day per inmate and $10 dollars an hour for guard service.

"That contract was last negotiated in 1990. We are in the process of negotiating a new contract. that daily amount will be substantially more than 40 dollars," said Chief Deputy Danny Downes, with the Lubbock County Detention Center.

Chief Deputy Danny Downes with the Lubbock County Detention Center said they should receive all the federal inmates that were displaced all over West Texas by the end of next week. Downs said the IGSA is currently being negotiated and if it changes the Detention Center will receive more money to house the federal inmates.

According to County Commissioner Bill McCay it originally cost the Detention Center three million dollars a year to house the federal inmates elsewhere, because of overcrowding in the old jail. Since the Detention Center was built the federal money will go toward offsetting the cost of operating the new jail.

"We will be recouping that income that we would of otherwise gotten if our jail hadn't been overcrowded," said Chief Deputy Downes.

As of Friday the Lubbock County Detention Center hold 105 inmates with more on the way. Chief Deputy Downes said all the federal inmates should be transferred by the end of next week.  "The Lubbock County taxpayers are seeing some return on what they spent on this facility," said Chief Deputy Downes.

But for Dickens County, a community of 2,700, having the federal inmates transferred has led to all 489 beds empty and more than120 jobs lost.

This comes after the privately owned company that operated the Dickens County Jail did not renew their three year contract and is in the process of transitioning the operation of the jail back to Dickens

"We've been working diligently for the last 8 months to ensure this day would never come. Unfortunately it has," said Lesa Arnold, Dickens County Judge.

The Dickens County Judge said possible loss of the jail is not an effect of less inmates. It's also due to the economy and location.

"I think a lot of it had to do with geography. It was just closer for the U.S. Marshals to the court system in Lubbock," said Judge Arnold.

The Dickens County Judge will find out Monday if another private company will operate their jail.

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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