Gage County Not Alone, With High Jail Population

BEATRICE – Gage County officials continue to investigate agreements with other counties, to hold an ongoing overflow of inmates at the county’s detention center.

Inmate numbers have been hovering near 50, with the jail only capable of handling around 26 to 30.  As of Wednesday, 46 persons were in custody on Gage County bookings.

Gage County Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson says Washington County, Kansas is willing to house prisoners at the rate of $45 per day, with some beds reserved.  If not reserved, the charge has been $35 per day.

:27                  “or so, ago”

As of today, Gage County was housing prisoners in Saline, Butler, Seward and Dawson County jails….along with Washington County, Kansas Jail…the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center in Lincoln, and the Women’s Center at York.

Some Gage County Board members are wary of entering into agreements that reserve space in outside jails, which could force higher expenses if the Gage County Jail population declines.  One board member has suggested using Dawson County’s jail more frequently, because they would make at least one prisoner transport trip, per week.  Prisoner transport is an issue, because of the time spent and the costs.

:09                  “is filling up”

County officials are also concerned that more inmates held in state facilities may be shipped to county jails, with a change that allows the state to utilize county jails when prisoners are serving up to two years behind bars.

Gage County’s Detention budget is just short of one-million dollars, in the new budget approved by the county, Wednesday.

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