GENEVA – The Kane County Sheriff’s Office will be reinstating an electronic home monitoring program on a pilot basis by late September for five to 10 detainees.
The electronic monitoring unit was cut from Kane County’s 2018 Court Services budget because it was not a state-mandated service, officials said.
Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said his office will take it over from Court Services.
“The sheriff’s office never operated it before, so we have to be sure we know what we’re doing,” Hain said. “It’s a collaboration with the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office and Court Services. We have to work closely together to make sure we are selecting the right candidates, to have proper monitoring in place and proper reporting occurs if someone violates.”
By 2020, Hain said he hoped to have expanded the program to incorporate as many detainees as possible, then open it up to the judiciary for pretrial purposes.
“We would do it for sentenced inmates who have been convicted and then for pretrial for those who are in jail and unable to post bond,” Hain said. “It would be focused on non-violent offenders.”
It costs $62 per day to house a detainee in the jail versus $2.75 per day for electronic home monitoring, Hain said.
The equipment would be leased and those on monitoring would pay $8 to $10 per day, he said.
Hain estimated it would save $1.1 million, figuring 50 inmates at $62 per day.
But moving inmates to home monitoring would relieve strain on the jail both for staff and for other detainees, he said.
“The jail is in lockdown all but eight hours a day,” Hain said. “This will allow us to move people throughout our facility, facilitate our opioid treatment center and hire more corrections officers.”
Those in the jail would be engaged in diversion programs learning job skills, getting certifications in OSHA and forklift and painting, he said. The goal is to get them out of the judicial system by helping them with training, job skills and connections to possible employers.
Hain said he would be able to hire two more deputies in 2020, bringing the staffing level to 92, but those two would be focused on the home monitoring program.
Having deputies run the home monitoring program would allow them to take immediate action if an inmate goes where he shouldn’t, Hain said.
Probation officers could not take action right away, but would have to call deputies.
In Cook and DeKalb counties, the sheriff’s office runs the home monitoring programs as well, he said.
At the time County Board voted to cut the program, it cost $720,000. Officials said at the time they needed to plug a $3.3 million hole in the budget – though records show the program saved the county nearly $3 million in 2016.