Springfield Police Department’s Prisoner Housing to Change

The Springfield Police Department is going to examine other options for prisoners after Vernon County informed the city they would be opting out of an agreement on October 31 that would keep Springfield prisoners in their jail.

A revised agreement will keep a very limited amount of prisoners who have already been sentenced to jail terms but will not house any prisoners who are awaiting trial.

Vernon County will also stop daily transport between their jail and Springfield Municipal Court, forcing the city to assume those costs.

Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams attributed Vernon County’s withdrawal from the agreement to getting a “better deal” from Kansas City and Jackson County to house their prisoners.

The city could house a maximum of 10 prisoners in Vernon County, with the city paying $45 a day for those prisoners. While Vernon County will be responsible for basic medical needs, the city will be responsible for “special medical expenses” which includes prescriptions or any medical supply that is “out of house.” The city would also be responsible for labor costs connected to obtaining those medical items.

Under the old agreement, the city was housing an average of 40 people per day in the Vernon County Jail at a rate of about $40 each.

If the city council did not approve the revised agreement at Monday night’s meeting, the city would have lost the ability to jail inmates.

The city will now need to find alternatives for holding prisoners awaiting trial or for more than 10 prisoners who have been sentenced to jail terms.

Police Chief Williams says that the dangerous criminals will still be locked up and that once the new Greene County Jail is built housing prisoners will no longer be an issue.