New rate will go into effect on July 1, 2018

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FARMINGTON — The cost for Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington to house an inmate at the San Juan County Adult Detention will increase about 20 percent in the upcoming fiscal year.

The increase was one of three detention center and jail treatment items approved by the San Juan County Commission earlier this week.

A new rate of $82.29 per inmate per day was approved by the commissioners for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. That's an increase of about 20 percent from the current rate of $68.52 for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, according to commission documents.

The increase is due to the $4.48 million annual contract for Correct Care Solutions to provide inmate medical care at county detention facilities, County Operations Officer Mike Stark said.

Correct Care Solutions provides medical services for the adult and juvenile detention centers and the alternative sentencing facilities. It also provides mental health services for the county jail.

The Nashville, Tenn., company took over the contract from the San Juan Regional Medical Center on July 1, which had a contract of about $2.1 million annually to provide medical series for the three detention centers.

The San Juan Regional Medical Center submitted a bid of $7.7 million to continue providing medical services for the three detention centers and mental health services at the county jail.

County Commission chairman Jack Fortner previously told The Daily Times he believes San Juan Regional's proposal was higher because of increases in health premiums stemming from lawsuits filed against the county jail and the hospital. Two lawsuits have been settled by the relatives of inmates who died while incarcerated.

 

An April 2015 lawsuit filed by 18 inmates accused the health-care providers and jail of causing injury and suffering and denying basic medical care.

A contract with Socorro County was also approved to house juveniles at the San Juan County Juvenile Detention Center at a rate of $185 per day per inmate.

It is the third contract the juvenile detention center has entered into to house juveniles in New Mexico, according to Administrator Traci Neff. The detention center also houses juveniles from McKinley and Cibola counties.

"It helps support the costs associated with operating the facility," Neff said.

Neff believes an average of 15 to 20 juveniles could be housed from Socorro County.

The county juvenile detention center has a total of 46 beds with 10 beds set aside for the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.

"For a lot of smaller counties, it's real expensive," Neff said about providing juvenile detention services.

A memorandum of agreement with Sandoval County and San Juan County was renewed authorizing DWI and incarceration services. Jennifer Mitchell, the administrator of the San Juan County Alternative Sentencing Division, said the agreement has been in place at least 11 years.

Sandoval County pays $1,857 per inmate to be housed in the San Juan County 28-day DWI treatment program.

It is the only county that contracts with San Juan County for the DWI treatment program. An agreement with Torrance County ended last year, and one with Los Alamos County ended in 2013.

Mitchell said about 98 percent of the inmates enrolled complete the 28-day program.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

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