FULTON - The first year of operation for Itawamba County's new jail didn't go exactly as planned.
But that's not an altogether bad thing.
The jail will be $554,426 over budget but will also bring in $785,800 in increased revenue, according to projections brought to the attention of the Itawamba County Board of Supervisors in their Feb. 20 meeting.
The higher projected budget was attributed personnel costs related to the jail housing additional inmates from surrounding counties and municipalities, while the increased revenue came from those other entities paying Itawamba County to house those prisoners.
The jail can house up to 154 inmates, compared to the 30-40 that could be housed in the old jail. The new jail has had space to spare and has put it to good use, receiving compensation in exchange for housing prisoners from other counties and municipalities.
Sheriff Chris Dickinson said that while the county's aim is not to make money from the jail, the increased revenue will go a long way toward the jail's continued operation and maintenance as revenue beyond the jail's budgetary needs will be put toward additional improvements to the facility.
“We don’t try to generate money, but housing prisoners from other counties is going to be a great benefit for paying for the jail," Sheriff Dickinson said.
While the budget for the jail will need to be adjusted to account for the projected increase in cost, the increased revenue more than offsets the additional cost of housing extra prisoners, provided the jail continues to house the same number of prisoners.
“At the end of the year, whatever the budget had been set at, we’re going to be well under-budget at the end of the year,” Sheriff Dickinson said. “The money we’re bringing in should help take care of the payment on the jail.”
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