Jail looks at new home lockup system

July 11, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

A different system for managing home incarceration is being considered by the Boyle and Mercer County Joint Jail Committee.

The issue was raised by the appearance of the owner of a company that sells those systems when the committee met at its monthly meeting Friday afternoon in the Boyle County Courthouse.

John Trifilio, president and CEO of CDA Electronic Monitoring, and his daughter, Debi T. Oestreicher, vice president of the Cincinnati company, explained that rather than paying for the service, the jail could make a profit.

The home incarceration program used in Boyle and Mercer counties is administered by Kentucky Alternative Program. Boyle County Attorney Richard Campbell said Boyle County Jailer Barry Harmon has no responsibilities in the program run by KAP, but the program proposed by CDA would involve work to be done by the jailer or his deputies.


The jail would make a profit by charging inmates a per diem fee for using the program. Any charge that exceeds the $4.75 a day that CDA charges would be profit for the jail. Oestreicher said the county only would be charged for machines in use, not for those sitting on a shelf waiting to be used.

Trifilio said his system is superior to the program administered by KAP because it:

* Is less expensive than the current program.

* Provides on-site assistance. The program administered by KAP is based in Colorado.

* Offers on-site training rather than a computer disk sent to the county.

* Saves the jail money by placing inmates with medical problems out of the jail, so the jail does not have to pay medical costs.

* Allows inmates with jobs to continue working,

Home incarceration not effective with felons

Trifilio said home incarceration works well with misdemeanor offenders but has not been shown to be effective with felons.

Campbell said local judges seldom place inmates on home incarceration. The jail tries to collect a $20 per diem from its inmates. The CDA system could only be used on Boyle and Mercer inmates, not on state Class D felons.

After Trifilio and Oestreicher made their presentations, Boyle County Judge-Executive Tony Wilder and Mercer County Judge-Executive John Trisler said the committee needs to look at the program now in use and compare them. Trisler wanted to know what success the county has had in collecting daily charges from inmates. The answer was not immediately available.

While Trifilio asked for a contract, more study will be done by the committee before any decisions will be made.

Addressing the issue of jail costs, members of the committee were asked to explain why the monthly financial report shows the jail to be more than $200,000 in the red compared to the end of the last fiscal year.

At the end of the 2002-2003 fiscal year, the report showed there was a $741,188 deficit. The deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30 is $968,698. Boyle County Treasurer Mary Lynn said neither figure reflects the true state of the jail's finances and a more detailed financial statement on the jail will be available in August.

Jail Capt. Phil Yates repeated what officials stated earlier this year.

"Crime costs all of us," he said. "It's not what the jail costs us; it's what crime costs us."

Central Kentucky News Articles