Jail overcrowding costing Kootenai County tax payers

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KREM.com

Posted on December 21, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 22 at 7:59 AM

KOOTENAI COUNTY-- The Kootenai County Sheriff's office is dealing with a severe over crowding issue at their jail and tax payers are covering the high cost of keeping a surplus of prisoners behind bars.

At the Kootenai county jail there's 325 beds to house inmates and 340 prisoners in custody.

Those over-flow inmates are in jails in Nez Perce, Ferry County and some in Montana.

The overcrowding is creating a strain on the budget, because deputies have to shuttle inmates in and out of Kootenai County each day for court appointments.
   
The department has also hired ten new employees for transportation.

This burden has the tax payers paying.
   
The department has budgeted a $500,000 this year for jail transportation and housing but they're already anticipating that to rise to $900,000.
   
A new jail may become necessary.  Voters shot down building a new one in recent years.

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