Daily rates for incarceration changed by Lewis and Clark County Commissioners

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Posted at 5:41 PM, Sep 19, 2023

HELENA — This Tuesday morning, county commissioners passed a resolution to establish daily rates for incarceration, a resolution that will lessen the burden on taxpayers in Lewis & Clark County.

“That extra money that we're getting from the old $69 to this, that's a little more than we got, we've been getting. And it helps our local taxpayers somewhat to have that extra money. It's just not covering all of the cost,” says the Chair of the Lewis & Clark County Commission, Tom Rolfe.

The daily rate for the incarcerated in Lewis & Clark County was raised from about $69 to $82.50 after county commissioners voted yes. This means that more money will be coming from the state’s general fund in order to fund the approximate $120-125 it takes to incarcerate an inmate per day. The difference is paid by the Lewis and Clark County residents in taxes.

This was made possible during the last legislative session in which the daily rate allowance was raised.

Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton was at the meeting. He says that this move by the county commissioners will give taxpayers in the county a break.

“And it’s spread out more. So, when you spread it out over the whole state, that lessens the impact to local taxpayers,” says Sheriff Dutton.

Another agenda item was also passed during the meeting. The Sheriff’s Department was awarded money in order to pay for newer and more advanced body cameras, vehicle cameras, and digital evidence software through a contract with Utility Associates, Inc.

“We do have body cameras and currently we do have in-car cameras. The new technology allows us things we have not had before,” says Sheriff Dutton.