New Jail Contract Unresolved

By: Stan Torgerson
By: Stan Torgerson

Lauderdale County supervisors agreed to a new jail contract with the City of Meridian and the Town of Marion at a board meeting Tuesday.

It closely resembles the present contract, except the daily rate is increased from $20.00 per day per prisoner to $23.00 per day.

But the City of Meridian turned down the offer. City officials say the real sticking point has yet to be settled.

The county charges the city a per inmate, per day rate. But the two entities can't decide what "a day" means.

"As it is now, you could be arrested at 11:00 p.m. That's a day. You could bond out at 12:30. You've been in now an hour and a half. We would be billed for two days, 48 hours," said Mayor John Robert Smith.

Smith said that's not fair. He said the city will ask for another meeting with the county to try to iron out the details of a new contract. The current one has been extended twice.

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