York County Prison could soon be home to more state-level offenders, saving taxpayers money through a possible new deal to house additional parole violators.
The county prison already detains dozens of inmates for the state Department of Corrections, taking in about 44 state prisoners for the month of September, said Warden Mary Sabol.
But state officials want to bring as many as 80-to-100 more state parole violators to York, allowing the prisoners to take part in programs offered at the county level, Deputy Warden Clair Doll said during a prison board meeting Tuesday.
The prison has some excess capacity, he said, and the state pays the county $70 per day per state inmate housed there.
That's about 35 percent less expensive than the $95 per day it costs the Department of Corrections to house the inmates in state facilities, said Deputy Press Secretary Susan Bensinger.
There are capacity issues on a state level, and processing inmates takes longer and stretches the amount of time they spend in the system, she said.
In addition to the money it generates for the county and saves for the state, it's better for the inmates to be paroled back to their home counties as they prepare to re-enter society, she said.
"Counties are great at re-entry because they're connected to the community...as they go from tax burdens to taxpayers," she said.
The prisoners are the same level of security risk as other county inmates, she said. The county systems are the state's feeder facilities, so most of the inmates in state prisons have already been held for up to two years in the county system, she said.
Extra room: The prison can house as many as 75 state inmates under its current contract with the state, but Doll said that number is likely to grow over the next several months as a new deal is inked.
Vice-president County Commissioner Doug Hoke, president of the prison board, said the county works most efficiently when more beds are filled. To that end, the county has a federal contract to house up to 900 detainees for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
County officials would like to house an average of about 850 detainees, for which it's paid $83 per day per inmate, but its number hovers closer to around 650, Hoke said. The excess capacity means there's room for more state inmates, he said.
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