State to pay county jails for housing inmates

Posted at 12:40 p.m. on March 30, 2021

The Brillion News

MADISON - The state Department of Corrections (DOC) informed county sheriff's that the governor's office has approved to resume reimbursing county jails,at least for mow, for holding inmates sentenced to state prison.


The DOC had been refusing to take sentenced inmates in state prisons, but is also not paying the counties any room and board to hold them.


Now the state has agreed to reimburse the counties for the cost of housing prisoners who should have been in state prisons.


The problem was in the process of being addressed by the state legislature, through Assembly Bill 187, authored by state Representative Shae Sortwell, R-Two Rivers.

That bill would make the state reimburse a county or tribal jail for keeping a prisoner for more than 10 days after he/she is sentenced to prison.

"I look forward to seeing the governor's administration resuming their reinbursement payments to the county jails for holding the state's inmates, Sortwell said. "It would be unjust for this burden to persist for our sheriffs."

It was nearly a year ago that the governor ordered the DOC to stop receiving new inmates - a measure designed to keep COVID-19 out of the prisons. It showed up behind prison walls anyway.

The governor's decision to reimburse the counties for housing state inmates is considered temporary. Sortwell's bill would make it permanent.