Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Commission changes position on inmate transport to R.C.

Citing a need to look into the costs of transporting inmates to Pennington County and in the light of new information, the Fall River County Commission voted 3-2 not to begin transporting prisoners at the first of the year. The action took place at the commission’s Sept. 7 meeting.

At its Aug. 17 meeting, the commission had voted unanimously to begin the transport of prisoners – for one year – to the Pennington County Jail in Rapid City.

Foremost in the commission’s decision was that there had been no contact made with the City of Hot Springs about the Aug. 17 vote. Part of the procedure for housing inmates in Rapid City would involve an arresting officer taking his or her prisoner to Rapid City. Hot Springs Mayor Don De Vries noted that additional costs to the city could be in excess of $40,000.

“We haven’t budgeted for it and we don’t have the money to do it,” De Vries told the commission.

Clerk of Courts Carol Foster spoke to the commission about video conferencing with prisoners and said that such things are done within the building in Rapid City, but other counties don’t do it.

“The equipment in the courtroom to do that belongs to the state,” Foster said. “I believe when we have done things like that before it costs about $200 per hour.”

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