The Nye County Commission approved a plan Wednesday to create an ankle monitoring program for the county jail in Pahrump, which would cost participating inmates at least $300 a month.
The program allows judges to approve inmates at the Nye County Detention Center for house arrest with electronic monitoring, meaning they will be outfitted with a GPS device around their ankle.
Nye County Sheriff’s Office Capt. David Boruchowitz told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week that the ankle monitors will get more people out of jail and spare the county the cost of keeping them there. He also said people on ankle monitoring could keep their jobs.
The commission last week approved the county’s contract for the monitors with the company Track Group. On Wednesday, commissioners approved fees that would be associated with the program.
Boruchowitz said after the meeting that the Sheriff’s Office has 10 ankle monitors but could order more in the future.
Inmates placed on ankle monitoring would have to pay a $100 deposit, as well as $50 up front for the monitors to be activated. Then ankle monitoring would cost $10 a day.
If the monitor is damaged, the inmate would owe a $1,400 fee, and if the monitor’s charger is lost, the fee is $200.
During the County Commission meeting on Wednesday, Commissioner Leo Blundo asked Boruchowitz if the program is affordable and if the Sheriff’s Office considered the income for an average family in Nye County.
“The response to that question is I didn’t look at that,” Boruchowitz said. “We looked at actual costs of what this is going to cost Nye County. If the flavor of the commissioners is to subsidize this program to help people to afford it, that would be, in my mind, a different discussion.”
Blundo said that while the program is a “win-win” for keeping inmates out of jail and reducing costs for the county, he wanted to make sure the program doesn’t end up “discriminating against the poor.”
Boruchowitz told commissioners that the inmate fees would cover what the county would spend on the program.
“Would I find $300 to stay out of jail for a month? The answer would be yes,” he said when discussing the inmate costs.
With the deposit and hook-up fee, inmates would pay about $450 the first month of the program and then about $300 every month.
Commissioner John Koenig suggested that after the Sheriff’s Office started the program, it could propose a way for the county to subsidize costs at a later date.
“If we approve this, it gets the program working,” Koenig said. “I think we should get moving, personally.”
The commissioners unanimously approved the ankle monitoring program and fees.
Boruchowitz previously told the Review-Journal that he heard “positive feedback” about the program’s use in Clark County.
He said judges will determine how strict the ankle monitoring will be. According to the resolution submitted to the Nye County Commission, inmates will be able to leave their homes for situations such as work, education, family obligations, counseling, community service, medical appointments or other court-approved activities.
The program will be available for inmates awaiting trial or those who have been sentenced. The monitors also will be equipped with a two-way intercom that allows detention center employees to speak with inmates.
The Nye County jail’s capacity is 240 inmates, Boruchowitz said. He said the jail is not constantly at capacity, but “there are days where we’re full.”
“We have a lot of people that have jobs that get put in jail,” he said. “We’re excited to have people back out in the community being able to work.”