ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – Two years after it fell to the budget axe, GPS electronic home monitoring for jail detainees will make a comeback, possibly as soon as Oct. 1, Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said.
“We have a group trained and equipment,” Hain said. “And I’m meeting with the Kane County State’s Attorney's Office Monday morning about how we can get our sentenced population on electronic home monitoring. That is the last step. We hope to be active by Oct. 1. That is our target date.”
When the Kane County Board cut the funding for home monitoring in a move to balance the budget, the program’s eight employees and one supervisor cost $720,000 in 2016.
Still, the program had saved the county nearly $3 million that same year, officials said, because it is cheaper to monitor those charged with crime electronically at their homes than in jail.
But even an impassioned letter from Chief Judge Susan Clancy Boles at the time did not sway the board majority, as it was among other budget cuts to plug a $3.3 million deficit, officials said.
Though the program was previously handled through Court Services, Hain said it will now be handled by his office.
“The majority of the funding – 80 percent – Court Services used to require was to hire and maintain a 24-hour staff,” Hain said. “The only entity now with a 24-hour staff is us. It was an easy decision for us. Existing staff can operate this program. We start a pilot and determine the amount of work.”
Hain said it costs $62 a day to house, feed, provide medical service and manpower per inmate at the county jail.
It would cost $3.75 per day for GPS electronic monitoring, Hain said.
“And we just passed a county board resolution to charge $10 a day for anyone on home monitoring,” Hain said.
Reinstating the program would more than pay for itself, he said.