Brooke County

Brooke County

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Brooke Co.'s NRJ budget shrinking

Updated: Friday, October 4 2013, 12:52 PM EDT

By Jennifer Black


Keeping violent offender criminals comes with a hefty price tag, and leaders in Brooke County are feeling the pinch.

In the first three months of the year, Brooke County has spent 44 percent of its regional jail budget, and Sheriff Chuck Jackson said if they continue on this path, they will be well over budget by year end.

Jackson said despite that, there isn’t much they can do because violent offenders need to remain behind bars.

“The alternative to allowing people on the street who don’t need to be on the street is far more serious than paying extra money to keep them in jail,” Jackson said.

At the start of the year, the county allotted $300,000 for the regional jail budget.  Jackson said it costs around $50/day for every prisoner in jail, and right now Brooke County has several people behind bars awaiting trial.

County leaders said they are working with a smaller budget this year than in years past, because the money hasn’t always been needed, but with an increase in inmates this year they are feeling the pinch.

“We have no intension of leaving crime go unpunished in the county.  If the sheriff feels those people need to be in jail we'll support the sheriff in every way possible,” commissioner Tim Ennis said.

Jackson said the county will find the money if and when the time comes to preserve the safety of the county.

“If [violent offenders] they're not in jail, they'll continue to commit crimes, although they may be smaller crimes they're crimes nonetheless and they basically tie up our time, and tie up the court system and create a lot of innocent victims,” Sheriff Jackson.

Home confinement through community corrections and GPS monitoring are a few ways the county can save some money, but not everyone is eligible for those programs.

Jackson said he meets weekly with the Brooke County prosecutor to determine if there are any candidates that may be eligible for release from jail.



Brooke Co.'s NRJ budget shrinking

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