Vernon Co. Sheriff’s Office arranges inmate housing plan with Kansas City in hopes to boost county revenue

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A local jail is making a big change in how they handle inmates from outside the area – a switch that could help boost the budget.

NEVADA, Mo.–The Vernon County Sheriff is overhauling his program to house inmates from outside the agency. That starts with a switch, ending a contract with the City of Springfield and growing a new one with Kansas City.

“These inmates will basically be coming here to be housed,” Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher explained.

Which is a big change from the old agreement with the City of Springfield.

“The main difference between the two contracts–Springfield requires us to do video court for them every day, which does take up time with staff inside the jail,” Mosher added. “We do transportation every day.”

Mosher points out the new contract has bigger payments from the city of Kansas City.

“It’ll bring in over a million dollars to the county through 2019’s budget, which is extremely important to the sheriff’s office operation budget,” Mosher continued.

That translates to a wide range of improvements at the sheriff’s office.

“The revenue that’s come in from the jail is what’s helped keep our vehicles updated and replaced, our increased training we’ve done–we’ve added more road deputies than what we used to have. So that’s paying for a big part of the sheriff’s office budget,” Mosher explained.

But security is still number one. Kansas City inmates won’t be released from the Nevada lockup, but will be taken back to KC for release. And, the jail will never turn away Vernon County cases.

“Our priority is our local inmates – we hold those. If the judge sends them to jail, they’re going to be held in our jail.”

The Springfield contract ends this week, although the jail will continue to hold up to ten inmates for Springfield, space permitting.
The jail had been averaging 40 or so Vernon County inmates and about 30 more for Springfield, although the jail can hold much more than that with an overflow plan.

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