Scott County sheriff provides numbers on how electronic monitoring bracelets can save money

Thursday, June 17, 2010

BENTON -- Scott County commissioners have said electronic monitoring bracelets could save the state money. Now they have a concrete example of how much that could be.

Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter brought in figures during the regular county commission meeting Tuesday to provide "a prime example" of the savings from placing nonviolent offenders under house arrest using electronic monitoring technology, according to Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn.

For an inmate held in the Scott County Jail for 105 days, "the cost of this inmate to the county is $3,828," Ziegenhorn said.

If that inmate were to be convicted and sent to the Missouri Department of Corrections, the county would be reimbursed $1,995. "We're now being reimbursed $19 per day by the state if this person is convicted," Ziegenhorn said.

If, however, the inmate was determined to be a nonviolent offender and approved by a judge to be placed on house arrest, the cost for an electronic monitoring bracelet would be $1,100 -- $10 per day plus a $50 setup fee. Ziegenhorn said that works out to a savings of $2,728 during that incarceration.

As the $1,100 is less than the state's reimbursement of $1,995, "why would the state not want to pay that fee instead?" Ziegenhorn said. "That's less than we would be reimbursed by the state. It saves us money and saves them money."

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