Board backs prisoner plan

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 7, 2000

Efforts to bring state and federal prisoners to Lincoln Countyfor a work program are continuing, with state prisoners possibly inplace by the first of the year, county officials said.

The new county jail has been approved to house 20 stateprisoners and an application to house 10 federal prisoners has beensubmitted, Sheriff Lynn Boyte told supervisors at their Oct. 31meeting. Following a brief discussion at Monday’s meeting,supervisors expressed their support for the plan.

“I think it’d be an excellent thing to do,” said W.D. “Doug”Moak, board president. “Basically, it’s almost free labor.”

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Moak said it is not totally free, though, because of meal andhousing expenses. Meals for inmates cost about $6 a day per inmate,but the state reimbursement rate is around $20 a day, officialssaid.

“He’s hoping to have some people here by the first of the year,”Moak said of Boyte’s plans.

Boyte said housing state inmates here is a chance to address astate need while also getting some benefits for the county. He saidcounty and state officials are talking about prisoners who will beassigned to the program.

Boyte said he was looking for “quality people who can contributeto the county and not cause any trouble.” County officials arelooking for prisoners with mechanical or other skills that can helpthem in their operations.

For each day a prisoner works, he earns one day off hissentence, Boyte said.

Regarding federal prisoner housing, Boyte said federal officialshave approved the jail and progress is being made in that area. Hesaid it was now a matter of getting some things worked out andsetting a price on prisoner reimbursement, which could be up to $35a day.

“They like what they see,” Boyte said.