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State Slow to Take Trinity County Inmates

Jan 10th, 2010 | Category: Trinity County

Trinity Standard – December 2009
GROVETON – After completing only two months of its 2010 fiscal year, Trinity County officials are being warned that the cost of housing jail inmates could create a major budget shortfall this year.
During the Dec. 14 meeting of the Trinity County Commissioners Court, County Judge Mark Evans noted that during October and November also, the county spent $71,280 to house jail inmates in a Falls County facility.
That two-month figure represents 25 percent of the $290,000 budgeted for the entire year and Evans noted that the December bill just received, but not yet paid, totals $40,920.
“If this continues – and it is likely that it will – this will create a major deficit in the budget,” Evans told commissioners.
Sheriff Ralph Montemayor told commissioners that as of Monday, the county was holding 35 prisoners, most housed in the Falls County jail facility.
The Trinity County Jail in Groveton is only rated to hold seven long-term prisoners and state law mandates that all others must be housed in other certified facilities.
“You hear all kinds of solutions to this problem from members of the community, but unfortunately, we are very limited on what we can actually do,” Evans noted. “I can assure you that we don’t have someone sitting in jail because they cannot come up with a $2,000 bond.”
Both Evans and Montemayor noted that prisoners who can be released on bond are discharged from custody fairly quickly. Most of the long-term inmates now being held by the county are those who cannot be released on bond, such as those awaiting transfer to drug treatment centers, state jails or state prisons.
Evans has noted in the past that the state is notoriously slow about accepting inmates after they have been sentenced to prison time.

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