In-State Inmates

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

Keeping a prisoner behind cell bars costs the state about $50 each day.

For years, it's been a big business that Wisconsin has been shipping to other states, but a new agreement between the state and eleven different counties will keep those prisoners, and the money spent on them right where they came from.

"Instead of having that money spent out of state, having a prisoner sent to Oklahoma or Minnesota," said Secretary of the Department of Corrections Matthew Frank, "that money will cover the costs in these counties."

Housing inmates in the Oneida County Jail's extra space generates about $850,000 for the county. That money covers the cost of paying all 26 employees of the jail. It's that kind of money that has officials in Langlade County excited about taking in criminals.

"The local economies and the budgets are tight," said Langlade County Sheriff Dave Steger, "so this is certainly going to take the edge off the budget problems that we've had."

Steger says the additional 40 inmates who will arrive in January should pump an extra $350,000 into the Langlade County economy.

Using jails that have already been built, it will be a big boost to budgets that as of late have been stretched very thin.

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