Mt. Vernon Register-News

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June 26, 2013

White: Bring state prisoners here

(Continued)

He added, “I would think it would make sense for the state of Illinois to engage with counties, utilize us in an overflow capacity for safety purposes, maybe for protective custody situations. The rate we would charge would be not significant, but lower than what it would cost to house them in state prisons.”

White said there is a way for this proposal to work that is financially beneficial for the state and county government.

“The challenge is if we’re going to get sacked financially by the state of Illinois for this initiative, that’s the first and foremost motivation to encourage them to looking at facilities such as ours as an overflow. We can not continue to reprocess these people over, over and over again,” he concluded.

White said he has reached out to the Department of Corrections and to the governor’s office to suggest the proposal with no response. He has also contacted state legislators to get on board.

“It’s a win-win for everyone involved,” White said. “At some point, I have to advocate for the people of Jefferson County on both sides of this issue — the recidivism rate as well as 150 empty beds.”

In a related manner, White said the county is also encouraging lawmakers to address medial-related expenses for county prisoners.

“We had the $180,000 medical expense recently that you can’t possible plan for in budgeting. I think the state of Illinois needs to address that on behalf of the counties. It doesn’t need to be borne on the taxpayers of this county. It’s not fair and it’s not right,” he said.

IN OTHER BUSINESS:n No action was taken on a request from Meagan Carnine, an employee of the Public Defender’s office, to have seniority reinstated.

n White announced the county has reached an agreement with the City of Salem to consolidate services of the Animal Shelter.

n Information was presented concerning the vacancy that will be created with the retirement of Supervisor of Assessment Steve Lueker, effective Dec. 7.

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