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The Voice of the

Commonwealth's Counties

Helpful bill on jail costs moves forward

SB 189 (Peake) requires that the state compensate local jails for the cost of housing state-responsible inmates (individuals who have been convicted of a felony and committed to the Department of Corrections whose sentence is one year or more) at the actual cost of incarceration, rather than as provided in the Appropriations Act.  VACo has historically supported efforts to provide more realistic levels of funding for the costs of housing inmates; although the state provides assistance through the Compensation Board for jail staff salaries and per diem payments, this funding has fallen short of needs.  Jail per diems have not been increased since 2010, and the demands on jails are only expected to increase with the adoption of proposed behavioral health and medical care standards under consideration by the Board of Corrections.  The Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee heard the bill on January 10 and reported and referred it to Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee (renamed to reflect the matters that fall under its purview).

VACo Contact:  Katie Boyle

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