Fayette Sheriff's Office Could Save Money

As Lexington's Urban County Council continues to explore the broad issue of best management practices for the Fayette County Detention Center, interim jail director Ray Sabbatine says moving some duties to the Sheriff's office could save the city money.

In a presentation last week, Sabbatine proposed that court transport of inmates be shifted from community corrections back to law enforcement.

"We're talking about 20 funded officers that are already funded. If we take those 20 folks and bring them back in the jail, we could increase the contingency in the jail immediately so we can cut down on overtime."

Sabbatine says the cost to oversee court transport and holding would be cheaper for the Sheriff's office because the court security officers are not considered hazardous-duty employees, and the state would reimburse the sheriff's office $8/ hour.

Sabbatine also told the council's public safety committee that the Sheriff handle duties in the home incarceration program.

"So maybe it's time that we narrow our scope so that we can make sure that we have the funding that we need to do what this community expects out of the Division of Community Corrections. And take those things that are primarily law enforcement functions, and put them back with the law enforcement community."

According to Sabbatine, the jail could also house around 80 federal inmates, which would generate $1.2 million in net annual revenue.