Pickens Jail to Host Out-of-Town Inmates

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Pickens County has agreed to housing inmates from Sandy Springs.
In a press release delivered June 17th, The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has stated an agreement, which began on June 1st, 2015, has been struck between the Pickens Sheriff’s Office and the City of Sandy Springs to house city inmates. Pickens will not be holding inmates who have committed state crimes, however, only city crimes.

Having previously worked with the City of Pelham in Southwest Georgia who canceled their contract, Sandy Springs is now agreeing to pay Pickens $40 for each inmate per day to house them. However, Pickens County will be responsible for the prison transports 3 days a week.

Sheriff Donnie Craig stated “One key item that is always looked at in the operation of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office is how we can continue to offer better services to our community without requiring an increase to their taxes. By housing inmates for Sandy Springs, we are able to offset the operational expense of the jail by generating this form of revenue.”

Housing, on average, 70 – 90 inmates out of the 140 beds, the current population stands at 79. The facility is expected to hold an estimated 15 – 30 inmates from Sandy Springs at a time, though this is an estimation and could fluctuate.

Within their Press Release, Sheriff Craig went on to say “other than the cost of meals, we have to have the same amount of staff to operate the jail at 100% occupancy as we do for 80%.” Besides that cost of meals, the only reported increase in expenses will come from a need for an additional transport deputy as well as the fuel and maintenance costs for the transport vehicle.

The Sheriff’s Office has assured us they will continue a close monitor on these expenses to keep this agreement profitable. If they do find this agreement not proper or helpful to our county, they do have a 30-day opt out clause as part of the agreed contract. A clause which can be invoked by either party.

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