MIAMI COUNTY — Citing growing numbers of both local and federal inmates, Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak met with the county commissioners Thursday to propose opening the fourth pod at the Incarceration Facility.
Miami County has the option of opening the last of four pods available, which would provide an additional 60 beds. Duchak proposed hiring eight new correction officers as well as some renovations to the fourth pod.
The estimated additional yearly costs would be about $500,000 for staff and $280,000 for utilities and other expenses, Duchak told the commissioners. He added that it could take about eight months to hire new correction officers.
The daily average has been about 215 inmates with spikes as high as the 230s, Duchak told the commissioners.
“I think we’re at a tipping point,” Duchak said. The incarceration facility population is currently at a high point, Duchak said, and the facility is only able to house 10 federal inmates. In April, The county signed an agreement with the U.S. Marshal’s Service to house up to 20 inmates at a daily rate of $59 per inmate.
Duchak said the growth in population is due to an increase in local people being incarcerated, as well as an increase in bed rental to the federal marshal’s service. He added that other counties have expressed interest in renting bed space.
“The market is there,” he said.
According to the sheriff’s office, if the county opened the fourth pod and rented out all 60 beds, the income would be nearly $1.3 million before personnel and operating costs are factored in.
The commissioners asked for more details on population numbers before making any decision to open the pod.
The facility was built in 1999 with four 60-bed pods with the intention of using two pods to house federal prisoners. The facility was closed due to budget cuts in 2009 and has been reopening pods since 2013.
Currently, two of the pods house male inmates and one houses women.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.