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Home confinement plan paying off in Jefferson Co.

February 21, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Allowing some inmates to serve their time at home rather than in the Eastern Regional Jail saved Jefferson County government more than $200,000 last year, Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober said.

The money was saved through a program referred to as "home confinement," which involves an offender wearing a transmitter on one ankle, Boober said.

Most people on home confinement are nonviolent offenders, police said.

The transmitter is programmed to allow participants to leave home for work or other activities, such as a doctor's appointment, police said.

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Otherwise, participants are not able to move beyond a certain distance at their home without setting off an alarm, police said.

If an alarm is activated, the signal is transmitted to a company which notifies authorities, police said.

In 2005, 21 people were on home confinement, which saved the county from paying $229,307 in jail fees, Boober said.

It costs local governments $48.50 a day to house an inmate at the jail, and jail costs have periodically raised concerns among local officials.

Jefferson County has had home confinement over the last two years, and in 2004, the program saved the government $236,500, Boober said.

"I'm happy with it. The (Jefferson) County Commission should be pleased with it," Boober said.

The $229,307 saved last year was arrived at after expenditures totaling $54,194 were paid, Boober said.

The expenditures were for equipment costs, Boober said.

Berkeley and Morgan counties also use home confinement.

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