Pulaski County Hopes to Make Nearly $1.5 Million by Housing Federal Inmates

Pulaski County is another step closer to housing federal inmates in its jail.

Sheriff Jeff Richwine told the county council Monday he’s finalizing negotiations with the federal government. “We both agreed on a price,” he said. “It’s $51 [a day] to house an inmate. They pay $18 [an hour] to transport inmates, and then, they’ll pay 17 cents a mile when we transport.”

That’s more than what the county’s full-time jail employees currently make, according to Richwine. “What I’d like to be able to do is have the part-time people come in and fill in in the jail, and these guys that are transporting that are full-time people make that $18 an hour,” he explained. “So I know there’s going to be some issues with rights stuff and how that all works out, but surely that’s something we can work out.” Richwine says most of the federal prisoners will come from the Allen County area.

Housing out-of-county prisoners has gotten to be a big business for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department. “You know, Howard County – we’ve been housing for them. They’re kind of leaning toward taking their people back,” Richwine said. “Fulton County just called wanting to house 15, but I’d just as soon get these federal people in here. They pay $51. The state bid is $35. So we’re almost very close to doubling our money with these federal guys.”

Richwine expects the county will be able to make nearly $1.5 million over the three-year contract. That money will go under the county council’s control. The sheriff’s budget would also benefit indirectly, through increased commissary sales in the jail.