During Tuesday’s Scioto County Commissioner meeting, an invoice from the Portsmouth Municipal Court regarding electronic monitoring house arrest (EMHA) for the month of October was received by commissioners in the amount of $14,651.06 for a total of 1,007 days for 59 defendants.
Commissioner Bryan Davis spoke during the discussion period of this item and voiced his thoughts on the miniscule portion of the bill being paid by the defendants themselves. “This particular bill is $14,000. If you go through the list, absolutely zero have paid anything towards their home confinement. I want to go on the record and say that I think that is terrible. They’re given the opportunity to not go to jail, but for some reason none of them can pay towards that confinement,” Davis said. “I would request and hope that the Portsmouth Municipal Court could look at that strongly, and hopefully be able to sway some of these defendants to do so, because this bill continues to go up for the county. Hopefully that can happen in the future.”
After reviewing the invoice again, one payment made by a defendant was discovered in the amount of $25, which comes dollars shy of covering two days of EMHA at a rate of $14.50 per day.
“Don’t get me wrong the home confinement, the way that that is done keeps them out of our jail which would cost even more, it would cost us a lot more if they were in the jail. But, I think that there’s also a benefit to the defendant being able to serve time awaiting their sentencing or whatever would happen in the courts, for them to be at home. I would ask and petition the judges of the municipal court to look and see, I don’t know exactly all the criteria that has to be met, but I think the fact that there’s zero out of 1,009 hours, I have a hard time to believe that some of these individuals can’t pay for this service, or at least a portion of it,” said Davis. Davis stated that this reoccurring cost for the county, usually between $12,000 and $14,000 each month, adds up and comes out of the general fund, becoming a burden to tax payers. Davis said that he finds the report frustrating in learning that almost none of the defendants are paying for their EMHA.
Davis reiterated his appreciation for the efforts of judges in utilizing EMHA instead of sending all defendants directly to jail, but states his issue is those placed on EMHA who could afford to contribute and are not doing so.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932