Following some public debate about the project, St. Mary’s County Commissioners voted this week to approve funding for a long-sought jail expansion and renovation project. From coverage on SoMdNews.com:
The expansion and renovation of the county jail can move forward, four of the five St. Mary’s County commissioners agreed Tuesday. Commissioner Cindy Jones (R) objected.
However, the hiring of 15 new corrections officers requested by the sheriff to man the new jail was unanimously rejected for the time being.
The online e coverage also references the recently-changed state policy on locally-sentenced inmates: “The county jail is intended to house inmates awaiting trial or those convicted who have been sentenced to up to 18 months. Any longer sentence is supposed to be served in a Maryland prison.” In recent years’ budget resolutions, state per diem funding for locally sentenced inmates has been slashed to near-zero levels, leaving county jails and correctional centers almost completely reliant on county tax revenues for operations and staffing. The County Commissioners denied a funding request from the Sheriff’s office for the deputies sought to operate the expanded correctional center.