CLEARFIELD — The inmate population at the Clearfield County Jail has surged in recent weeks, costing the county tens of thousands of dollars in overtime.

At Tuesday’s Clearfield County Prison Board meeting, Warden David Kessling said currently there are about 187 inmates at the jail — but the total committed count is about 199.

President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman, board chairman, asked Kessling how many inmates the jail can house until the county has to send inmates to Jefferson County. Kessling said he tries to not send inmates to Jefferson County due to the associated expense.

Kessling said he couldn’t provide a set number as they can add beds to the jail when needed, but he said the jail is required to put additional corrections officers on duty when the inmate population exceeds 155.

Currently, the jail is required to have 11 corrections officers working overtime every day, and this costs the county $17,519 per week and $70,076 per month in overtime.

When asked by The Progress, partner publication of The Courier Express, how much Jefferson County charges to house inmates, Commissioner Dave Glass said he couldn’t remember off the top of his head. But this cost doesn’t include the cost of transporting the inmates.

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Glass said the county will be doing a cost analysis to see at what point it would be less costly to house inmates in Jefferson County than pay guards overtime. He said commissioners are first going to wait and see if this is a temporary spike in the inmate population or a long term problem.

According to an article that published in The Progress in March 2020, Jefferson County charged Clearfield County $55 per day to house an inmate. At this price, it would cost the county $16,940 a week to house 44 inmates in Jefferson County, not including transportation costs.

Kessling also gave the monthly housing report for June. The month started with 135 inmates, 136 were committed, 108 inmates were released, there was 4,881 prisoner days served, the average daily in house population was 163, the average daily total population was 171 and the month ended with 176 inmates.

For alternative incarceration there were 29 inmates on home detention and 45 on supervised bail. The total incarceration days saved was 1,805.

There are currently no inmates housed in out-of-county facilities.

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