Jail to Request More Money to Feed Inmates
More people are sitting behind barbed wire fence in the Saline County Jail.
"We increased our average holding to 60 more than what we anticipated," explained Lt. Scottie Courtney of the sheriff's office.
However, it's not more crime driving the numbers up, said Courtney. It's less money and longer stays.
"If they get a ticket, then it goes into they can't afford to pay for the ticket, and we end up getting a warrant, and they end up getting picked up. If they can't pay the ticket, then its harder for them to make bond, and they end up staying here longer than what they used to," said Courtney.
The increase means that more people every day require those three square meals. A typical day is cereal, eggs, sausage and a biscuit for breakfast, a sandwich, chips and fruit for lunch, and a sloppy joe, tater-tots, fruit and dessert for dinner. All that food only cost $2.84 per inmate per day.Even with that bargain price, the county says 60 more mouths to feed really adds up, and help is needed from the Saline County Quorum Court
Just last night, though, that same court passed a resolution asking embattled Sheriff Bruce Pennington to resign. Now, the sheriff must ask the court for the funds to feed the inmates, but the sheriff's office doesn't anticipate a problem.
"Having to go and request a little bit more money to finish out the year for meals is not unheard of. It's entirely up to the quorum court whether they allow that to happen or not," said Courtney.
County Judge Larry Fite said he hadn't yet reviewed the request for funds, so he couldn't comment on the issue.