Helpful bill to assist with jail costs advances

January 17, 2019

VACo spoke in favor of SB 1040 (Peake), which would require the state to compensate local jails in accordance with the actual cost of housing state-responsible inmates (individuals convicted of felonies who have been sentenced to one year or more in a state correctional facility), as calculated by the Compensation Board.  Currently the state provides funding in accordance with the Appropriations Act, through the Compensation Board-funded salaries and benefits for sheriffs’ deputies and jail per diems, but this funding typically falls short of fully covering local expenses.  Jail per diem rates have not been increased since FY 2011, when rates for local-responsible inmates were cut in half and rates for state-responsible inmates were reduced to a lesser degree.

VACo spoke for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee on January 16, suggesting that enhanced state support will be required to address legislators’ concerns about the level of behavioral health services provided in local and regional jails.  The Committee amended the bill to add language providing that it will not take effect unless the necessary funding is included in the state budget and reported the legislation to the Senate floor.

VACo Contact: Katie Boyle

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