County pay for fed inmates up significantly

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By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County made a considerable amount of money by leasing its private prison to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Commissioners dealt with that and other issues concerning law enforcement at last Monday’s commissioners court meeting.

The May bill to ICE was $435,379.81, County Judge Daniel Burkeen told the court, a significant increase from the $125,000 the county netted each month under the previous, long-term contract it had with Community Education Centers, the company that was running the prison until June 28. The total income will be rounded down since the county must pay CEC for its expenses for holding ICE inmates in May; those were the new inmates the county was taking in as CEC’s contract wound down.

“It does not reflect what our share of that will be; we don’t have all the expenses calculated up yet,” Burkeen said.

On a related issues, at the previous meeting, Burkeen had been given authorization to sign the intergovernmental agreement with the Marshal Service, which ICE uses. The temporary agreement was executed June 28 and runs through Sept. 30 with a temporary rate of $65 per inmate in place of the previous rate of $46.81.