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  • broward sheriff - jail division

    Jenne: County could save on jails

    By Bill Hirschman
    South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    Posted March 28 2007


    The county could save $28 million a year operating its jails if officials agreed to put an additional 1,000 defendants each year into pre-trial diversion programs, Sheriff Ken Jenne told county commissioners Tuesday.

    Low-risk, nonviolent defendants awaiting trial in jail because of an inability to make bail could be put on house arrest or released with electronic tracking equipment, Jenne said. He compared the average cost of jailing a prisoner, $91 a day, with monitoring a prisoner electronically, $11.25 a day.



    LocalLinks

    Commissioners began a series of workshops aimed at zero-based budgeting to accommodate harsh reductions in spending for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. They anticipate state lawmakers limiting local governments' taxing or spending to give homeowners property tax relief.

    The process started with commissioners urging Jenne, the property appraiser and the election supervisor to cut budget requests this spring.

    At the same time, county governments face significant cost increases in insurance rates, pension benefits, fuel costs and construction materials.

    Jenne saw the diversion program as a stopgap rather than a replacement for his proposal to build a $64 million jail in Pompano Beach.

    The diversion program would need cooperation from judges and prosecutors, none of whom have been consulted yet, Jenne said. The start-up costs would be about $2.1 million, including monitoring equipment and 20 new employees. Operating costs would be $2 million a year, compared with about $30 million to operate a new jail for 1,000 inmates.

    Commissioners were intrigued.

    "This is not about being soft on crime; this is about being smart about budgets," Mayor Josephus Eggelletion Jr. said.


    ################################################## ##

    my fla l.e.o. brothers, your comments welcome because your gonna

    see the same knuckleheads again and again
    " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
    " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....

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