A Crawford County ordinance to add second daily jail fee for inmates fails with 6-6 vote

Ty Thompson
Press Argus-Courier
Crawford County Justice of the Peace Craig Wahlmeir sponsored an ordinance that would reduce the amount of money paid by municipalities from housing inmates.

An ordinance changing the rules of the jail fees for prisoners in Crawford County failed after a six-to-six vote Monday.

A second daily fee beginning on the second calendar day would have been applied, and every day thereafter that the prisoner is in custody.

One problem with the proposed amendment brought up by Justice of the Peace Micheal Morrison is the county could lose about $75,000 in jail fees. However, another JP says the county should not have to look to the jail for income.

"If we have to survive off making money off of prisoners, then we're in a hurt," said Justice of the Peace Jayson Peppas.

The proposed amendment was for a 2018 ordinance that states each municipality, or state prisoner, housed in the county jail shall pay a fee of $40 for each day the prisoner is incarcerated. The amendment proposed that $40 would have not been applied on their day of release.

The fee covers housing, feeding, and caring for the prisoner. 

Cedarville Mayor Mark Isenhower had issues with the 2018 ordinance because in the event that a prisoner is brought in at 8 p.m. and released at 2 a.m., then the money utilized for said prisoner had doubled.

The new ordinance would have made it so the $40 would only be applied again after a full 24-hour stay.

According to Isenhower, Cedarville has already spent around $3,000 on prisoners this year.

"Most people are arrested at night," said Isenhower. "And most people just spend one night in jail."