Miami County could house federal prisoners for first time in years

TROY – Details are being finalized for the housing of federal prisoners in Miami County for the first time in nearly a decade.

Sheriff Dave Duchak said his staff is working with the federal marshal’s service on a contract under which up to 20 prisoners would be housed in pods at the county Incarceration Facility located between Troy and Piqua.

The proposed agreement would allow for up to 15 males and five females. The county would be paid $59 per day, per prisoner and would be paid to transport the prisoners to and from the facility to federal court in Dayton.

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The Incarceration Facility was built in 1999 with the goal at the time of using one half of its four, 60-person pods to house local prisoners and to rent the other half to help offset facility operating costs.

The county housed prisoners for other counties and the federal marshal’s service before the facility was closed at the end of 2009 because of budget cuts blamed on the recession. The sheriff’s office reopened one of the facility’s pods in 2013, the second in 2014 and a third last year.

Last year, the sheriff’s office again started renting a few beds to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office and Greenville police. More recently, the Pike County Sheriff’s Office has been renting beds. Those agencies are using about 10 beds a day. Last year, the sheriff’s office brought in around $100,000 from bed rentals.

“I don’t have a problem renting out beds as long as it doesn’t hurt our judges’ ability to incarcerate,” Duchak said.

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County Commission President John “Bud” O’Brien said he and fellow commissioners are “certainly in favor of the sheriff renting beds to whoever he can.” The rentals help supplement the cost of operating the facility, he said.

“We haven’t seen the contract yet, but are looking forward to seeing it,” O’Brien said.

Duchak said the arrangement for housing federal prisoners would be like the previous agreement.

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Miami County also has a jail at the county Safety Building in Troy, where up to 48 prisoners can be held. That space is used for primarily for violent offenders, while nonviolent offenders are housed at the Incarceration Facility. The federal prisoners would be nonviolent people facing charges for financial and other crimes, Duchak said.

Before the sheriff’s office could open the fourth, 60-person pod, it would need to hire six additional correction officers. That process would take at least nine months, Duchak said.

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