- Associated Press - Monday, June 26, 2017

JEROME, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho county is looking to generate additional money by renting out space for Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees.

Under a proposed contract with Jerome County Sheriff’s Department, ICE would pay about $75 per day for each bed they lease from the county jail, The Times-News reported (https://bit.ly/2sUh0M3) Monday.

ICE would continue to pay for all the beds even when there aren’t enough detainees, according to County Commissioner Charlie Howell.

ICE previously had a major detention facility south of Salt Lake City until Utah county officials ended the contract last year because they had an influx of local inmates, according the report. The county jail has been working with ICE since February and considers the contract “pretty much a done deal”, said Sheriff Doug McFall.

ICE may lease out 50 beds at the county’s new 136-bed jail opened last year. At the moment, it is mostly occupied by Jerome inmates. The rest of the inmates are from other counties outside Jerome.

Jail officials had intended to use the facility to negotiate contracts with outside agencies, according the report.

“Right at the moment we don’t have 50 beds available,” he said. “As they start bringing their inmates in to house, we’ll have to start turning away state inmates and possibly inmates from other counties.”

The county will continue to prioritize inmates from Lincoln County over federal ones, McFall said.

The contract will require approval from county commissioners once it is finalized.

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Information from: The Times-News, https://www.magicvalley.com

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