Santa Cruz County raises reimbursement rate for housing federal inmates

Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2023 - 9:31am

Santa Cruz County is slated to get a higher reimbursement rate for housing federal detainees in its county jail. 

The jail has long held federal detainees like those arrested by the FBI or Customs and Border Protection. Sheriff David Hathaway says most of those detainees are not housed there, because they’re transferred to Tucson immediately for court. But, the county gets paid about $60 per person for those that are.

“We realized that our reimbursement rate was lower than other counties in Arizona. And looking at the cost, it was losing money, it would cost more on our food contracts, and paying the officers and staff,” he said. 

As the Nogales International reports, the county’s Board of Supervisors voted to increase the rate to about $85 per federal inmate. Hathaway says the county jail's capacity is in the 300s but is usually only about a quarter of the way full of state, federal and local inmates.

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