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Bill gives local jails higher reimbursement

ATLANTA --- A bill that would raise the daily reimbursement from the state to local jails for housing state inmates passed the Senate unanimously Friday.

Senate Bill 360, sponsored by Sen. Johnny Grant, R-Milledgeville, would raise to $30 from $7.50 the minimum per day that local governments get for housing inmates awaiting transfer to state prison.

Despite the current $7.50 minimum, county jails receive $20 per day for each prisoner they hold after the first 15 days, said Paul Czachowski, the public affairs manager for the Georgia Department of Corrections. For some time, though, county sheriffs have been saying that amount just isn't enough.

"It does place a burden," said Sgt. Tommy Tillman, spokesman for the Chatham County Sheriff's Office. "It's not so bad if the state can pick them up in a timely manner."

The cost for holding a single prisoner for a day comes to about $50, Sgt. Tillman said.

-- Morris News Service

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