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Bond plan trial run

McCreary County Judge Executive Doug Stephens and other local elected officials met Friday to try and develop plans to help alleviate the budget issues facing the county.

While reportedly not much was accomplished in the first meeting, one plan was developed that could save some money when it comes to transporting and housing prisoners.

With the revelation during the Fiscal Court meeting Thursday that people arrested on bench warrants typically have a bond amount already in place that accompanies the order, steps were taken to put together a trial program that could mean less people going to jail when being arrested on an outstanding warrant.

The plan calls for Transport Officers to be trained on how to collect the bond payments from arrestees who are able to provide the needed amount to satisfy the condition of the bond prior to being transported and lodged in another facility.

That money will be deposited in a safe located inside the McCreary County Sheriff’s Office, which can only be opened by a representative from the Court Clerk’s office.

While it is unclear how many arrestees will be able to benefit from such a process, with housing costs being about $30 per day per inmate, it could provide some relief to the beleaguered jail budget.

“This is an attempt to do something to save money,” Judge Stephens said Tuesday.

Additionally, plans are to have a Transport Officer on duty on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights to handle bond payments from after-hours arrests.

Stephens said the staff member on duty would be on a trial basis, until it can be determined if it is economically feasible to continue.

While a Transport Officer is typically paid $50 for a transport, paying someone to be on duty for the possibility of a bond payment being made could be more costly if no arrestee is able to make bond.

However, if multiple individuals are able to do so in one evening, the County would conceivable save money by not having to pay housing costs for those individuals.

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