City of Beaumont: Jefferson County charges middle County towns less for prisoners – Port Arthur News


Jefferson County sued the town of Beaumont in May 2016 over the cost of prisoner accommodation.

There is a pending case due to be tried in October.

The town of Beaumont discovered about 10 years ago that Jefferson County treated the towns of Nederland, Port Neches and Groves differently from Beaumont and the town of Port Arthur.

Jefferson County was charging a higher rate per day per prisoner for Beaumont and Port Arthur. We thought it was unfair and wanted all cities to be treated the same.

The county went ahead and in 2011 made deals with Nederland, Port Neches and Groves at a rate of $ 55 per day and offered the towns of Beaumont and Port Arthur a rate of $ 75 per day. .

Of course, this was a continuation of the difference in treatment.

The second issue that has not been resolved is when a prisoner becomes “county responsibility”, in which case the expenses begin to be paid by the county.

A prisoner appears before a magistrate, usually within 24 hours of his arrest, and is “committed” to prison if the documents are correct.

The town of Beaumont believes that when the prisoner is “engaged” in jail, he is the responsibility of the county and the county should pay to house that prisoner.

Jefferson County wants towns in Jefferson County to pay for the prisoner until he is formally charged by the district attorney’s office.

We don’t know of any other county in Texas out of 254 counties that does business this way. We believe this Jefferson County practice is being used to reduce their expenses and obligations under state law.

The town of Beaumont believes that Jefferson County charges them hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

The last contract signed with Jefferson County for prisoner accommodation dates back to 1986.

The city administration works well with the district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s department.

The county judge and the commissioner’s court can resolve this matter and we sincerely hope they will.

– Submitted by the City of Beaumont.

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