Commissioners issue report on costs of inmate housing

Editor’s note: Due to an unfortunate misunderstanding on the part of The Sentinel, our Wednesday, June 19 headline and article about housing costs for Juniata County inmates did not correctly report the relationship between costs in 2011 and 2013. Today’s article is being published as a follow-up to help clarify that situation.

MIFFLINTOWN – The Juniata County Commissioners on Tuesday issued a financial report detailing inmate housing costs for the first fiscal quarter of 2013 compared to the year 2011.

Commissioner Teresa O’Neal said the county incurred significant one-time expenditures after the closing of the Juniata County Prison in 2012, so 2011 was used as the base year for financial assessments.

In the first quarter of 2013, the cost per bed per day for housing Juniata County inmates was $71.12, compared to an estimated $136.52 in 2011.

According to the report, $719,346 was spent on personnel costs and $301,865 was spent on personnel benefits throughout 2011. There was no charge for personnel costs or benefits incurred in 2013, the report states.

In the first quarter of 2013, Juniata County spent an estimated $20,789.23 on consultants and contract services for inmates, $242,927.58 for direct operating costs -including boarding of prisoners, repairs and maintenance, food, utilities, training, inmate labor, travel and meals – and $10,509.25 for indirect costs.

In 2011, the county spent $103,005 for consultants and contract services, $269,737 for direct operating costs and $39,138 for indirect costs.

The total actual operating costs for the first quarter of 2013 are $274,226.06, according to the report. The total actual operating costs for the year 2011 are $1,433,091, the report states.

The report states the estimated cost per month in the first quarter of 2013 is $91,408.69, compared to an estimated $119,424.25 per month in 2011.

O’Neal said the board continues to review financial records on a daily basis.

The board also intends to make financial reports available on the Juniata County website on an ongoing basis, said Commissioner Robert Reynolds.