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County to charge PA, Sequim flat rate for jail costs

September 3rd, 2014 - 5:26am

(Port Angeles) Clallam County commissioners have approved a measure to cap jail costs for the cities of Port Angeles and Sequim.

The move will change the way the cities are charged to house inmates to a flat-fee standard.

Sheriff Bill Benedict developed the change in an effort to curb the rising costs for the cities.

Under the amended contract, the amount that the cities pay the county to house inmates in the 120-bed jail would be capped at a this year at about 630 thousand dollars for Port Angeles and 240 thousand dollars for Sequim. Future amounts will be negotiated.

This year, Port Angeles was in danger of going $300-thousand dollars over their budget in jail fees.

Although part of that was due to arraignment dates of those arrested who could not make bail, that glitch was addressed with changes in court calendar dates for city of PA cases.

Benedict said that this new method of billing should give him better control over jail population, keeping the jail just at, or below its capacity. The Sheriff said that an over-capacity jail population creates liability and safety issues for his personnel as well as the inmates. The commissioners approved the amended fee plan unanimously.

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