San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The commissioners court this morning approved a contract with Bastrop County to house inmates when the Hays County jail exceeds its capacity. Bastrop County commissioners approved the deal on Dec. 22.

The arrangement is intended primarily as a emergency alternative to a similar long-standing arrangement with Guadalupe County where Hays County has transferred its overflow inmates off-and-on for years, Sheriff Gary Cutler told Hays County Judge Bert Cobb and the court’s four precinct commissioners.

The county will pay $45 per inmate per day to house inmates in Bastrop County’s 432-bed facility at 200 Jackson St. in Bastrop; it currently pays $50 per inmate per day for each inmate it sends to the 598-bed Guadalupe County jail at 2615 N. Guadalupe St. in Seguin.

Last week, the Hays County jail held a daily average of 309 inmates with a peak of 319. Of those, an average of 261 were men and 48 were women. On Monday, Hays County sent 16 male inmates to Seguin when the jail exceeded its capacity 256-bed, sheriff’s office Lt. Eric Batch said.

The Hays County jail houses inmates awaiting court appearances or serving sentences of less than a year for the sheriff’s office as well as the San Marcos, Kyle and Buda police departments.

For the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, the commissioners court budgeted $100,000 for contract inmate detention, half of the $200,000 requested by Cutler. After reaching a high-water mark of $551,950 in fiscal year 2010, the cost of inmate out-sourcing plummeted to $135,000 the next year and to zero in 2012 and 2013.

The “contract inmate detention” budget line-item does not include the personnel cost of law enforcement officers transferring inmates between cities.

COVER PHOTO by CHRIS VREELAND. SAN MARCOS MERCURY GRAPHIC by BRAD ROLLINS.

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