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Jail Committee Approves Home Incarceration Provider

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The Mercer-Boyle County Joint Jail Committee approved a provider for their home incarceration program.

After months of deliberations, the committee voted to go with Buddi US, of Dunedin, Florida. The smart tags will cost $2.77 per day plus .50 cents per day for insurance. The one piece units weigh 2.4 ounces, record violations and changes with date and time stamps, provide GPS location and can communicate to offenders through both audio and vibrations.

Mercer County Judge-Executive Scott Moseley said they wouldn’t be charged per day for units that are sitting on a shelf. Moseley and the rest of the board went through the options, including replacement costs.

Mercer County Jailer Bret “Chambo” Chamberlain and his staff will install or remove the units, which would only take about 30 seconds. Jail officials believe approximately 10 inmates a month­—nonviolent offenders—would qualify for the home incarcerations program.
Boyle County Jailer Brian Wofford thought another bidder, Capital, would be the best bet, because they are full service and would open a local office in Danville.

“It’s not local for us,” Moseley said.

Even though Capital would charge $12 a day, Wofford said the two counties would still save money over traditional incarceration.

“It’s still a big savings,” Wofford said.

The cost of keeping an inmate inside the Boyle County Dentention Center is more than $40. Officials have considered home incarceration as a way to save money, especially on health expenses. While in custody, the counties are responsible for any medical costs—including paying jailers to guard inmates who have been hospitalized. The counties would not be responsible for medical expenses for offenders on home incarceration.

Moseley said, from a liability standpoint, he felt more comfortable going with the lowest bidder. He said he thought the devices were comparable as far as technology.

“I think the potential for liability is minuscule, but that one time I would be wrong,” said Boyle County Judge-Executive Howard Hunt.

Moseley moved to go with Buddi US on a six month trial basis with a six month termination clause. Boyle County Attorney Chris Herron seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Boyle will have to pay for gas for Boyle inmates to have their bracelets removed by Chamberlain’s staff.

Wofford said going with Buddi would be a lot more legwork but either way, the counties would save money.

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