Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom informed the Sullivan County Commissioners at their meeting Monday evening that the cost to house inmates in Posey County has increased.

“In the past, the per diem rate to house inmates for the state of Indiana - level 6 (offenders) and county to county - has been $35,” Cottom stated. “Legislation recently changed. Effective July 1, the state’s per diem rate is now $37.50.”

This increase of $2.50 at this time is a consolation, as the state’s goal was to raise the rate to $50 a day, according to Cottom.

“They settled for a $40 cap for now and they’re going up $2.50 to get there,” Cottom said.

This is beneficial to those facilities with extra bed space, but for counties like Sullivan County, who house level 6 offenders elsewhere, it means more money is being forked out to these other sheriff departments.

“If you’ve got plenty of bed space, that’s a good thing because the state is paying you now $37.50 to hold your level 6s,” Cottom explained. “But if you don’t have adequate bed space and you’re paying other counties, then our rate just went up.”

Posey County chose to increase the per diem rate mid-year when the state increased.

With inmates in Parke, Daviess and Knox counties as well, Cottom said it is possible to see the same rate increase from them.

“Posey’s the first county that I’ve heard from,” Cottom said.

He added that the goal would be to move those level 6 offenders in Posey County to Greene County once their facility opens.

As for expanding Sullivan County’s own facility, Sullivan County Commissioners President Bob Davis announced that an 11-person committee has been formed in order to begin the process.

The commissioners also voted to hire Jack Krouse of Construction Control Inc. to meet with the jail committee to “get us started on the jail project,” in the words of Ray McCammon. A beginning limit of $5,000 was set by the commissioners.

Cottom asked for the commissioner’s permission to meet with Krouse in order to show him the specific needs of the jail. In order to avoid running up Krouse’s tab, he will simply be involved in the jail committee’s meetings, not meeting individually with Cottom. This allows for the entire committee to be fully involved in the needs of the jail and the following discussions.

Cottom said it would not be an issue for the committee to meet at the courthouse and then go tour the facility.
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