Article published February 8, 1989
County costs for city jail rise
It will cost Spartanburg County $120,000 more than budgeted to keep county inmates in the city jail.
The County Council today will be asked to transfer funds into jail accounts to cover the cost of the inmate overflow for the remainder of the budget year, which ends June 30, Assistant County Administrator Roland Windham said.
The county pays the city to house all of its female inmates and those male inmates for which there is no room at the county jail, where overcrowding has developed into a serious problem.
County officials say the budget shortage resulted from the county having to send more prisoners to the city jail than anticipated.
The county pays a per prisoner fee to keep inmates at the city facility. That rate has been unchanged for two years, but the county has failed to estimate correctly how many inmates it would have to transfer to the city facility.
The county budgeted $170,000 to pay the city for holding county prisoners, Windham said, but after paying bills through December, only $43,260 remains in the jail account.
The council has been asked to transfer $100,000 into the jail fund from county contingency accounts. An additional $20,000 will be made up from other accounts in the jail's budget.
Last year, the county had to make a similar budget adjustment, transferring more than $35,000 to cover the cost overruns.
The county jail has been plagued with overcrowding problems for much of its 30-year history. The jail has been cited by state officials for failing to meet minimum space requirements each year since the standards were set in 1980.
County officials are considering the construction of a new county jail, but the estimated $16 million to $18 million construction price has some officials leery about whether the county can afford the new facility.