- Associated Press - Friday, July 10, 2015

CANTON, Miss. (AP) - Municipalities will be paying more to house local inmates in the Madison County jail.

According to multiple media reports, the board of supervisors approved this week Sheriff Randy Tucker’s request Monday to raise housing rates for municipal inmates from $18 a day to $25 a day over the next two years.

The first increase of $3 will begin in October, with a $4 increase in October 2016.

“Our most recent study shows it costs us about $41 and a little change to house an inmate per day,” Tucker said. “We try to keep the cost down for municipalities. We’re to a point where we’re operating in the red. Nobody likes pass on the cost but I have to.”

Tucker said he already notified the municipalities of a possible increase so they can take that into consideration during budget planning.

“State statue says we can charge $35 per day,” he said. “We keep that cost down as much as we can. I think it’s a necessity at this point for us to increase to that $25.”

Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal said he was anticipating an increase in jail fees.

“They’ve been good to us the last couple of years,” Neal said. “Obviously, we’ve been anticipating this increase.”

Neal said they currently have a monthly budget of $8,000 for jail fees and in the upcoming budget he is going to ask city leaders to increase that to $9,000.

“Most of that money is recouped from those inmates once they go through the court process,” Neal said.

Other affected municipalities include the Madison, Flora and Gluckstadt.

Tucker said the jail has approximately 360 inmates at any given time. The annual medical cost for the inmates runs around $700,000, Tucker said.

“Anything that they need that falls under medical coverage, that’s all inclusive,” he said. “There are certain things that we have to provide by law and they cost money. It’s the price of doing business basically.”

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