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Volusia County levies inmate fees.

Wed, Feb 16, 2022 at 3:10PM

Written by Anthony Bicy

Belden Communications News



On Tuesday, the Volusia County Council gave the directive for the County’s Corrections Division, which operates two jails, to start assessing a one-time administrative booking fee of $30 and a daily inmate subsistence fee of $5 for incarcerated inmates.

There are currently fifty out of sixty-seven counties in Florida that charge jail inmates with booking or subsistence fees, and in some cases, both. Beforehand, Volusia County only charged inmates a medical co-pay, $8 for a sick call, and $4 per medication.

"There is no way to know for sure how much money inmate booking, and subsistence fees will generate. But any amount will help lessen the burden on taxpayers," Volusia County Corrections Director Mark Flowers told the council. “Right now, what I can promise you is we are not collecting anything. So, something, in my opinion, is definitely better than nothing."

According to a release and a Florida statute, inmates who perform various jobs within the jail are exempt from subsistence fees. An inmate can have the money owed withdrawn from their cash account or go through a grievance process presenting reasons explaining why they feel they should not have to pay the fees. Any fees that go unpaid for more than three years will be forgiven.

Councilman Danny Robins called the fees reasonable, particularly considering the cost to incarcerate inmates.

“It can become very costly,” said Robins. “I think you are being more than reasonable.”

Director Flowers hopes to start fee collections around October 1.

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