Sheriff sends prisoners home to cut costs at jail

A home monitoring program for inmates at the Franklin County Jail has saved the county at least $250,000 since February.

That's according to Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill who is overseeing the new program.

The county's 125-bed jail has been running over capacity for years, forcing the county to pay about $100 per day to board inmates at other prisons.

To cut down on costs, the county began allowing certain inmates to live at home while being monitored with an ankle bracelet.

An independent security company is in charge of tracking the movements of homebound prisoners at a cost of about $70,000 a year.

Mulverhill said the savings since February have far exceeded that amount.

"On February 4 we started with the first individual on the bracelet," Mulverhill said. "Since that time we've saved the county somewhere in the neighborhood of $250,000 and $280,000."

The county jail will also save money by switching to a cheaper meal plan. In about a month, inmates will be served frozen meals made by the state Department of Correctional Services in Rome.

The pre-prepared dishes cost about a $1.80 a day for each inmate. The meals are currently being made by the county at a cost of $6 per inmate.

The new meal plan also includes an inmate garden.

Mulverhill said inmates have already started harvesting a variety of jail-grown veggies, including radishes and onions.

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