The Public Safety Center, which houses the Winnebago County Jail, is getting used more than expected. The facility cost the county over $3 million to build, but Winnebago County and other surrounding counties have been using it regularly. At times, it has been nearly to capacity according to Winnebago County Sheriff Dave Peterson.
Structurally, the facility is sound and modern allowing for the county to accept prisoners from other counties.
The Winnebago County Sheriffs Office will then charge the county where they inmate was prosecuted, a set fee, for each day the inmate is in the Public Safety Center. Fees could range around $50 per day as an example for each day of incarceration at the Winnebago County Jail regardless whether or not the inmate is on work release and gone part of the day from the jail. This counts as extra income going into the Winnebago County coffers.
Still, the ability to house Winnebago County inmates instead of shipping them to other county jails is saving Winnebago County tax dollars. Hancock County currently sends most of its inmates to Winnebago County. Other area counties who may send inmates to Winnebago County include Worth, Wright, and other counties experiencing overcrowding possibilities.
If the county maintains this average, it could possibly generate an average of $240,000 annually. That possibility is solely based on keeping the same average of inmates over a 12 month period.