Posted: Sep 5, 2012 4:59 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
Updated: Sep 6, 2012 10:19 AM
HAMILTON- Ravalli County commissioners will renew a contract with Missoula County to transport and house the Bitterroot's underage lawbreakers, saying they've saved more money than expected.
County commissioners adopted the contract last year when Ravalli County was struggling to balance its budget. Faced with paying up to $500,000 to upgrade its own system, they decided to bus Ravalli County's juvenile offenders north to Missoula.
Although the system did place some travel burdens on families, commissioners say the contract has been a good deal for taxpayers, saving the county some $70,000. That's $20,000 more than they'd hoped for.
Wednesday commissioners say those savings could be as much as $100,000 for a full year, deciding to renew the contract with Missoula County.
Commissioners did add a new provision allowing the use of ankle bracelets and electronic restraints. That gives officers more options for taking care of youth when they are first taken into custody in the Bitterroot.