Number of state, federal detainees at York County Prison dips slightly


The number of federal immigration detainees and state prisoners housed at York County Prison dipped recently, but county officials say they are still on course to see an increase in revenue for housing the out-of-county detainees.

As of Tuesday, there were 644 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees and 192 state prisoners in the county-operated facility in Springettsbury Township, according to Carl Lindquist, county spokesman.

The county relies heavily on money it receives for housing out-of-county detainees to offset the cost to operate the prison. For 2015, the county is projected to receive $22.7 million for housing the detainees and prisoners, about half of the $46.3 million cost to run the prison.

In July, when out-of-county population numbers were higher, county officials were projecting a year-end revenue increase of $500,000 to $1 million.

"It's probably going to be closer to the lower end," said Doug Hoke, vice president commissioner, who heads the county prison board, which oversees prison operations. "We're looking at the $400,000 to $500,000 range."

Numbers: On July 6, there were 686 ICE detainees and 211 state inmates in the prison, well below the daily average of 750 ICE detainees the county had projected for the year. Although the number of ICE detainees hasn't met projections, the number of state inmates exceeds them.

County officials had projected housing just 50 state inmates on average daily, but when the ICE population dropped at the start of the year, they reached out to the state to bring in more inmates.

To help curb costs before the influx of state inmates arrived, the prison temporarily closed five dormitories. But those areas were reopened in April as the population increased.

Fees: The county receives three different per-diem rates for housing out-of-county detainees.

The county receives $83 per day for each ICE detainee it houses. It also receives $67 per day for some state inmates, and a $75 per diem for other state inmates who must attend programs, such as anger management or career development.

In January, when the ICE population dipped to a daily average of just 560 detainees, the county was staring down a year-end revenue shortfall of $5.8 million.

Population numbers dropped even lower in February, when there were only 480 detainees at one point, before rebounding.

Revenue stream: Through the end of September, the county saw a drop of about $2.3 million in revenue for housing ICE detainees but an increase of $2.5 million in fees it receives for housing state prisoners, Hoke said.

Overall revenue was up about $180,000 through the same time period, Hoke noted.

Hoke said the state Department of Corrections "stepped up" when county officials requested at the start of the year that additional state prisoners be held at the county prison.

"They're really stepping up to the plate," he said. "Apparently they're happy with the situation."

— Reach Greg Gross at