WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — Budgets are being discussed across the state and cut-backs are being seen in all counties. One of the largest cut-backs in Mingo County is the Southwestern Regional Jail (SWRJ) bill.
The SWRJ bills Mingo County per inmate per day at an estimated $49 a day or approximately $1,500 a month.
Mingo County Circuit Judge Miki Thompson and her staff Kim Varney and Brandy Haney have effectively reduced the SWRJ bill considerably over the past months.
Thompson reported that due to the county budget cuts she implemented an internal audit in her department looking for cost saving measures. The audit was headed by Haney and Varney and they discovered through their due diligence the inconsistencies in the SWRJ billings. The audit revealed the county was being billed for inmates who were no longer under the county and should have been transferred to the West Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) billing.
“The jail has not been committing prisoners to the Department of Corrections (DOC) properly and my staff is now scrutinizing the bills,” said Thompson. “The inmates have been taken off the county bills and have now been picked up correctly by the State of West Virginia DOC.”
The monthly SWRJ bills were $123,000 in March 2013, $66,700 in March 2014 and only $39,800 in March 2015. This is an average of a 68 percent reduction in jail bills comparing March 2013 to March 2015.
Thompson reported that she is not sentencing fewer criminals, but court cases are being heard quicker with the assistance of Mingo County Prosecutor Teresa Maynard and sentencing is moving inmates into prisons which then place them under state control and DOC billing…