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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 10:06am

State Not Picking Up Prisoners

State budget cuts are having a spillover effect at cities and counties across Georgia, and in the case of the Bibb County jail in Macon it’s causing problems with overcrowding.

Three years ago Bibb County spent 30-million dollars to add nearly 400 beds to the jail. But that’s not enough to keep up with the demand. Now officials have pulled out extra cots for the 113 inmates waiting to be picked up and taken to state prisons.

Kelly McCutchen with the Georgia Public Policy Foundation says it’s not a new problem, but it has become worse.

“Counties have complained for years that the state has not picked up state prisoners and left them in county jails because it is less expensive for the state to do so. But that certainly has been exacerbated with the recent budget cuts.”

The state reimburses Bibb County for less than half the amount it takes to feed and care for prisoners waiting for transfer. Several inmates with mental illness are waiting in jail as well for transfer to state facilities.