Lawmakers Approve Reimbursement Hike for County Jails

(KCPW News)  The Utah House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill that increases the reimbursement rate the state pays to county jails for the detention of state inmates.  The bill appropriates a six-percent increase for facilities that provide treatment programs, and three percent for those that don’t.

Representative Jack Draxler says the state has been taking advantage of counties by paying them just a fraction of what it actually costs to house an inmate.

“If we didn’t have these, our state would be in a world of hurt,” said Draxler.  “The inmates that go through the county jails do have a lower recidivism rate.  And no county wants to send violators back onto the street.”

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Mike Noel, says the increase amounts to nearly $13,000 per inmate each year.  House Bill 442 passed with a 70-0 vote and now goes to the Senate.