Jail seeks to recoup funds from state

Published 9:56 am Saturday, December 14, 2013

SUFFOLK—Last year, the Western Tidewater Regional Jail was successful in getting a partial exemption to the state’s Federal Overhead Recovery language, and this year officials are asking for a full exclusion.

The law seeks to recoup some money from state jails holding federal inmates. This is due to the commonwealth paying for part of construction and a portion of operations.

The partial exemption that the regional jail received last year prevented the state from taking any revenue for the first 76 federal inmates, which saves the jail approximately $430,000 each year.

However, Western Tidewater Regional Jail Superintendent William Smith believes that the jail deserves a full exemption. He said that in 1999, the jail built an approximately $3 million 180-bed addition, which was funded by the jail, the local member jurisdictions and the U.S. Marshal Service. The local authorities are the cities of Franklin and Suffolk, and the county of Isle of Wight.

The local jurisdictions also fund the staffing for the addition.

Because the state did not pay for the expansion, nor has it contributed to the extra staffing, Smith said that the jail is entitled to a full exemption.

If granted, that would save the jail $500,000 to $600,000 annually, he said.

Franklin’s City Council voted unanimously Monday evening at its meeting to support the jail in getting this item on the state’s general assembly session during this upcoming year.