Commissioners concerned about costs of house arrest


PORTSMOUTH- The 44 Scioto County defendants on electronically monitored house arrest during the month of April paid about $500 on a $11,484 bill the county received. The county is responsible for the remaining $10,909.

That’s just one month and an approximate 4 percent paid by defendants. It doesn’t sit right with the Scioto County Commissioners.

“Are we going to negotiate this any or are we could to continue to take this on the chin? Because these numbers seem staggeringly high,” said Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis. “There’s been a little bit of a change but it seems like we’re not really seeing a major change here or turnaround as far as defendants.”

While the program saves money and keeps the numbers down in the county jail, the numbers pinch at a time when inflation is making county governments looking for even more ways to save money.

“I understand we save money by having them on house arrest,” Davis said, “but it seems to me like we could save the taxpayers of Scioto County more if the defendants were asked to pay more toward their house arrests. I know there have been some efforts, but I don’t know if we quantify what we want to see.”

At the commissioners May 25 meeting, Davis and fellow commissioners Cathy Coleman and Scottie Powell discussed how they might be able to address the situation.

“The next step is to ask for more in-depth invoices. Who they are, what is the sentence, how long will they be on electronic monitoring, what’s the offense,” Powell said. “Essentially, why are we electronically monitoring and it’s been checked that they are indigent.”

Coleman noted that there had been some movement.

“It’s not a lot, but it is some toward the total amount,” she said. “Maybe we could set up an appointment and see where they’re at.”

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