Testimony sheds light on counties’ expenses for housing pre-adjudicated inmates
HB 211, sponsored by Chairman Michael Meredith, would have required the State Treasury to reimburse counties when inmates convicted of a felony receive credit for time served in the county jail pre-trial.
County jails that house state inmates convicted of felonies will receive a per diem of $35.34 beginning July 1, 2022, resulting from the $4 increase in the per diem rate during the 2022 legislative session.
Currently, counties do not receive a per diem reimbursement for state inmates until the day they are sentenced for a felony. State inmates are required to receive sentencing credit for the time served in the county jail before adjudication, but the county is not reimbursed for this time.
This bill would change this policy and ensure the state pays its fair share for state inmates.
Department of Corrections officials testified on the fiscal impact of the bill. Based on the increased per diem rate, they estimated the cost to the state annually would be between $126.9 million and $156.4 million.
Campbell County Jailer and Kentucky Jailers Association President Jim Daley testified on the impact the bill would have on counties.
Daley testified that inmates charged with state felonies spend, on average, 173 days in the Campbell County jail pre-trial, with serious cases often taking more than a year to go to trial. Housing felony inmates during the pre-trial period is a costly burden on counties; Daley estimated the average cost to house inmates in the Campbell County jail is more than $60 a day.
While HB 211 did not pass during the 2022 legislative session, KACo looks forward to working on this critical piece of legislation in the future.