Knox County Jail May House Cook County Inmates - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Knox County Jail May House Cook County Inmates

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With more than 9,000 inmates, Cook County is the largest operating county jail in the state. But the system is strained and Cook County officials are looking to other Illinois counties to help lighten the load.
Rock Island County has been assisting Cook County for about two months. The jail houses 32 Cook County inmates, bringing in 50-dollars per day, per inmate.
According to Rock Island County Sheriff Jeff Boyd, the jail will make nearly $600,000 annually from housing the inmates.
Mercer County has been housing inmates from Cook County since may; making the same money per inmate as rock island county, but has taken in more inmates. At 40 inmates, the jail will make about $730,000 a year.
Now, the Knox County Sheriff's Department is looking into the program --
"I'm looking at anywhere from 5 to 10 inmates," said Knox County Sheriff David Clague. "That would generate anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 a year."
Capacity at the Knox County Jail is 120 inmates. While the jail typically operates at or above capacity, Sheriff Clague says there is room for more inmates.
"Right now, we could hold five or ten more," he said. "That's going to put us up to about 140. And I think that's a safe number to work at."
While Knox County may be interested in housing more inmates for more revenue, it's not a done deal. It's up to cook county to decide. Sheriff Clague hopes a deal will be reached by the end of the year.