Jail to free 15, Kemper critical of Patton order

By Charles Pearl State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Franklin County Jailer James Kemper will release 15 state inmates Friday to comply with Gov. Paul Patton's order to help balance the state budget. Patton, on Monday, ordered the early release of 567 inmates from the state prison system.

Kemper said releasing the 15 inmates from the Franklin County Regional Jail will cost the county about $12,380 a month or $150,600 a year. However, that doesn't include the community service benefit from inmates doing trash pickup, road maintenance, cleaning and mowing in the city and county.

The governor's order was disappointing, Kemper said.

"I understand the budget crunch and the governor's need to address that," Kemper said. "But I don't think this is the way to do it. It may ease the burden on one end for the state. But it throws the burden right back on the counties, and I don't think that's the way it should be.

"Private prisons need to be addressed, big-time. County jails can handle the inmates cheaper than private prisons."

For more on this story, see today's State Journal.

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