Clinton prison budget to increase for 2018

LOCK HAVEN — Clinton County’s prison expenses for 2018 are set to increase.

The tentative 2018 budget for the county shows correctional facility expenses at $6,619,422, up from $6,273,783 in 2017.

The biggest driver of the increase?

Contracted services like mental health care and medical treatment.

The prison’s new health care provider, Correctional Care Solutions, LLC has a projected cost of $835,000 for 2018, or roughly $69,583 monthly. The agreement with Correctional Care Solutions was approved by the county commissioners in September. For 2017, the medical contract cost for the prison was $750,000.

In 2018, the prison will see an $85,000 increase in contracted services, bringing the total to $150,000.

Crossroads Counseling, Inc. contracts with the prison; in July, the prison hired a full-time therapist and in October it welcomed a new mental health case manager, both provided through Crossroads.

County commissioners estimate they have approved the hiring of three to four new mental health care professionals for the prison in the last year.

As for salaries, the lump sum of prison staff salary has nearly doubled, going from $515,726 to $883,195. The hiring of at least four to six new positions in health care and other roles at the prison explains the jump in salary expenses from this year.

The prison has also increased the number of people working part time, because the lump sum of part-time salaries has more than doubled. This year, it was $40,000 and in 2018 it will be $92,000.

Employee health insurance costs will also rise, likely due to the uptick in employees at the prison. Costs will increase $109,516, bringing the cost of health insurance to $1,046,588.

However, the prison seems to be cutting down the number of corrections officers it employs. The lump sum of salaries for corrections officers in 2017 was $2,267,874 and that number will drop to $2,001,257.

Altogether, total salaries will increase $152,852, with salaries representing about half of the prison’s $6.6 million expenses.

Additionally, $941,200 is budgeted under capital projects in the total county budget for 2018 to complete the remaining prison renovations.

The prison’s projected revenue in 2018 is $4,171,000.

The prison budget falls under the county’s general fund, toward which the commissioners plan to put $500,000 from the fund balance to offset costs.