The Montgomery County Correctional Facility in the Eagleville section of Lower Providence will house an indeterminate number of state Department of Corrections inmates on work release, following an agreement approved Thursday by the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
Uri Monson, the county's chief financial officer, said the state is seeking multiple avenues to reduce "severe overcrowding" in its prisons and that the Department of Corrections will reimburse the county at the maximum allowable rate of $65 per day per prisoner.
Monson said neither he nor the state was yet certain exactly how many inmates would be transferred to the county under the agreement, but he stressed that only inmates suitable for work release programs would be housed there. Under the agreement, Montgomery County may reject any inmates at its discretion. Julio Algarin, the warden of the jail, will make the final determination on the suitability of each inmate to participate in the program.
Inmates convicted of certain serious crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, and sex offenses (excluding prostitution), will be considered "problematic" and require further review before being allowed to transfer to the county jail.
"This does not automatically disqualify them from participating, but it makes it much less likely," wrote county deputy solicitor Josh Stein in an internal email that was released to the media.
The new agreement follows two recent agreements and to house prisoners and deportees at the county jail.
The jail opened a new wing last year that was designed to accommodate an additional 500 inmates while easing overcrowding in the facility.
Police Praised for Protest Response at Jail
Commissioner Bruce Castor thanked the Lower Providence Police Department for their response during a June 28 protest against the housing of deportees at the jail. Castor singled out Lower Providence police chief Francis "Bud" Carroll and Lt. Stanley Turtle for particular praise.
"They did a very good job. A very efficient organization, top to bottom," Castor said.