Commission Signs New Phone, Commissary Contract At Jail

The Crawford County Commission on June 4 signed a three-year contract with City Tele Coin that will offer more services for inmates at the jail with the opportunity for the department to collect more fees.

Sheriff Darin Layman recommended the contract, which covers telephone usage and commissary purchases for jail inmates.

Inmates will now have more services available to them, though Layman said he uses that term loosely.

Eight tablets will be installed in each pod and inmates can use those them to do video visitation, use applications, partake in religious services.

“They can even work on getting their GED right there at our facility,” Layman said.

Inmates are charged by the minute for video messaging or certain application usage and the jail will get a portion of that money.

By giving inmates the opportunity to pay for watching certain programs, Layman said the department won’t have to invest in expensive satellite TV upgrades.

Tablet installation also will reduce foot traffic for jail staff, Layman said.

Crawford County’s jail population has been decreasing, which Layman said is not a bad thing, but it reduces fees or money they recoup through inmates.

“At the end of the day, it’s a double-edged sword,” he said.

Layman told commissioners that Major Adam Carnal has been working diligently to renegotiate the department’s federal inmate contract.

“We are asking for $80 per day,” he said.

Crawford County currently charges $52.46 per day for a federal inmate. As of June 4, they were housing 24.

“We’re hoping to increase those numbers soon,” Layman said, noting that the daily rate has been unchanged since the jail opened in 2003.

Other counties are getting paid in excess of $100 per day. In addition to increasing services, Layman said the county has seen the jail operating cost skyrocket.

In 2004, the yearly cost was $200,000. Now it is up to $2.4 million. In 2004, the department spent between $36,000 to $39,000 on medical care for inmates and that number has soared to $120,000.

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