More prisoners leading to expensive inmate costs in Marion County

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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - Last month was one for the record books in Marion County.

County Commissioners say they spent more than $200,000 on the cost of inmates at the regional jail. One of the decisions made during Wednesday morning's meeting was to move funds to help cover the rising cost.

Commission President Randy Elliott has been serving the citizens for 15 years.

"It's much, much, much higher than its ever been," Elliott said."

5 News: "Do you remember how much it was when you started?

Elliott: I'd say it's probably four times higher than it was when I started."

Commissioners had to move about $800,000 from the coal reallocation fund to the general fund in order to help the rising cost of housing inmates at the North Central Regional Jail.

"We just looked at our latest figures and it was over $200,000 per month -- the most it has been since I've been here," Elliott said.

5 News went into the county's book keeping department to look at the amount spent in previous years. Just in January of this year, the cost was nearly $204,000. In 2018, the most spent in a month was about $196,000.

"Our policemen, deputies and sheriff have been doing their jobs," Elliott said. "Throughout the county, the policemen and Marion County Sheriff and city police are doing their jobs. They're arresting the guys that are needing to be arrested. Unfortunately it's a tremendous burden and expense on the county."

"They gatta do what they gatta do to protect us, so we can take our kids out on the street without seeing a mess somewhere else," said Revel Williams.

"It's very concerning. I'd rather give my money to the policemen to get the people off the streets than I would for the inmates, so it's a double-edged sword there," said Jackie Fitch.