Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – After 15 years of receiving $53 per day for each federal inmate housed at the Washington County Detention Center, the sheriff’s office has negotiated a deal to receive a higher rate.
A release from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) states that the detention center could now receive $70 per day for each federal inmate, pending approval from the county.
According to Sexton, due to the detention center’s close proximity to the federal courthouse in Greeneville, federal inmates are often housed there.
The WCSO often transports federal inmates between its facilities. On any given day, the sheriff’s office said the detention center houses roughly 90-95 federal inmates.
Washington County Sheriff Keith Sexton negotiated the new contract with the United States Marshals Office, according to the release. Sexton said the deal has the potential to bring an additional $400,000-$500,000 a year to the county.
“For the past 15 years, Washington County has only received $53 a day for each federal inmate,” Sexton said in the release. “This new contract takes the rate to $70 a day and raises the hourly guard rate from $18 to $26. Typically, the federal inmate contract should be renegotiated every three years but hasn’t been since 2008.”
Sexton stated that the increase will aid the WCSO when transporting or guarding a federal inmate at a hospital, as the previous rate did not cover the cost to staff people in those roles.
In order to obtain final approval, the new agreement with the Marshals Service must pass the Washington County Commission in May and then be signed by the county mayor. The contract was already approved by a committee ahead of the commission meeting, the WCSO reports.