Taylor County is now charging the City of Abilene more to house inmates after an agreement was reached on Tuesday. The agreement brings at least two changes and will affect the jails and the city.
The cost for housing a city inmate in the county jail has increased to $38.50 a day, up almost $8 from the $30 a day.
Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls said the rise is prompted by more inmates opting to stay in jail rather than pay the fines because they can’t afford to pay for them.
“When they do that, it’s a cost to the taxpayers,” Bolls said.
The other change is what classifies as being “one day” when calculating the length of a jail stay. For example, if an inmate is booked at 11:45 p.m. but is released before 6 a.m, the city is only charged for one day, not two.
“We want the jail to operate on a pay as you go basis,” Bolls said.
Bolls said the rise in cost doesn’t have to do with the recent salary raises for jailers. The cost is more from the rise in prices from the economy.
This new agreement will cost the city $52,000 annually and will come from the city’s general fund. The costs are included in the proposed budget for the 2015 fiscal year, which the city’s finance department hopes to have finished by Monday, July 7.