When the Office of Special Counsel of the U.S. Justice Department decided on March 19th that McHenry County Undersheriff Andy Zinke had not violated the Hatch Act, opponent Jim Harrison started doing some research. This is a continuation of information that he passed onto the investigator in the case.
This part is a continuation of the Mary 7th County Board Law and Justice Department meeting minutes describing the relationship between the County and the Federal government with regard to the floor dedicated to housing Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees. Zinke was representing the Sheriff’s Department after the Sheriff said that the Corrections Division was reporting directly to him.
If you add all the expenses together, you come up with a rate of $120, though we don’t expect to get that rate.
We currently receive a higher rate because of the regional location of McHenry County. In the past there was a moratorium on any rate increases.
They are now entertaining this request.
Committee members were asked what would be needed in order to entertain a mutually beneficial deal.
In order to entertain this possibility they need to know if the County needs more jail space.
The County’s use of this space has flattened, unlike neighboring counties. If the trend holds, we have the space.It may be harder to answer this question in light of the closing of some of the Mental Health facilities in the State.
These closings will affect the County.
Does the County want to enter into another 10 year agreement?
If they do, what should the per diems be for 2015?
Should there be an adjustment included in the per diem rates to address inflation?
If the County is guaranteeing a specific number of beds, can we stay at that? Mr. Austin noted there are many questions that will need to be answered to find out if an additional contract is feasible.
He questioned what tools should be used to make these decisions?Should a task force be formed?
He stated that these questions will set the table for the incoming board.
Chairman Provenzano questioned Undersheriff Zinke who the “tenants” at the jail are.
He was informed that besides ICE and McHenry County detainees, they have inmates from the US Marshall Service and the U.S. Navy.
They have been approached by surrounding counties about use of space in the jail, though no other agreements have been forwarded for consideration.
There are currently 290 contact inmates currently housed in the county.
ICE has been above 232 for the past several years. McHenry County trends are lower than trends seen in our surrounding Counties.
As long as McHenry County has bed space available, they will try to fill the beds.
The cash flow from this program has been very helpful to McHenry County.
Mr. Austin reminded committee members that this is a complex issue and it warrants a lot of discussion.
Right now the program is working well, but additional questions need to be answered before we can move forward into the future.
Committee members asked if “ICE” has a plan in place for the future of this program.
They noted that McHenry County would not have space indefinitely and questioned what their long term plans may be.
Chairman Koehler noted that if the County has a choice, ICE detainees are the preferable as they are most in jail addressing residential status issues where most of the detainees from Kane County are the worst type of inmates and are usually gang members.
He stated that McHenry County has been fortunate as we don’t seem to have that element in McHenry County.
He stated it would be a great study to find out why the surrounding Counties seem to be dealing with a different type of detainee.
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