Franklin County Jail lock-down saves your money

Franklin County Jail lock-down saves your money
PASCO, Wash. -- KEPR learned the prisoner lock-down program at the Franklin County Jail is saving you a lot of money.

When prisoners are separated, they're less likely to get sick -- and less likely to fight. And that means medical costs at the jail are way down.

When inmates at the Franklin County jail have to go to the hospital, it can mean thousands of dollars in medical bills.
That's why jail administrators implemented their lock-down program.

It limits the amount of interaction between inmates--which helps fight the spread of sickness and quells potential fights.

"It gives the officers and staff here much more control of the population that we've got," says Captain Rick Long.

The jail experienced several fights a week before the permanent lock-down. Now they're down to just one a year that results in medical attention.

"If you've got an individual who's good at what he does as far as fighting, they can injure someone really bad. I mean, we've had some broken jaws, things of that nature cost us 22 to 25 thousand dollars and we have to pay the bill," Captain Long added.

The lock-down program translates to a saving of more than 100-thousand dollars a year for Franklin County. Money that goes back into the county's coffers for things like road repairs.

John Favela takes his lunch break across the street from the Franklin County Jail. He says the money saved is the best feature.

"Any time you can save health care costs it's really good. And we can apply to roads and parks and recreation and that's a great idea," he says.

Since the lock-down--The jail hasn't seen a single case of the flu.
Which tells Captain Long--the program is working.

"We do our best. And that's the part of what we're doing is trying to be good stewards of the tax-payers money as well as keeping people safe and secure. That's paramount here," Captain Long says.

Officials tell us the lock-down program also helps cut back on staffing--which means 10,000 dollars a year the jail no longer has to pay in overtime.