Illinois county questions jail-rental program -

Illinois county questions jail-rental program

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By Adam McDonald By Adam McDonald

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (AP) -- A jail-rental program that has brought in more than $73 million in the past decade has some McHenry County officials wondering if local taxpayers are subsidizing it.

The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald reports the program rents unused jail beds to the U.S. Marshals Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Local officials say the $85-a-day per-bed rate is not keeping pace with rising jail costs. The average federal-detainee population in the program -- which expires at the end of 2015-- has dropped from a high of 350 daily in 2011 to 180 this year.

A lobbyist the county hired used a federal formula to determine the actual per-day cost is $131.

Federal officials respond that some nearby jails in Wisconsin charge as little at $60.

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