The end may be near for the North Las Vegas jail as new plans to move inmates and lay off workers comes to light. The city manager claims it is about saving money.
"The greatest savings really comes through reduction in force," said North Las Vegas City Manager Timothy Hacker, who is forced to fill a $33 million budget deficit by the end of the month.
Closing the gap has left city leaders with the option to move inmates at the city jail to the Las Vegas detention facility at Mojave and Stewart.
"We're still going to have a corrections operation," Hacker explained. "We're still going to have our own staff. That gives us a lot of freedom and flexibility."
The proposed agreement between the two cities would start in July and last for five years. As of right now, roughly 200 inmates reside at the North Las Vegas facility – fewer than usual, in part because of the city releasing 70 low-risk inmates last month as the budget battle unfolded.
Under the agreement, North Las Vegas would have to pay Las Vegas $3.34 million per year to use a vacant section of the detention center, plus daily costs for each inmate, ranging from $25 to $110.
The move, Hacker said, would save $11 million during the next fiscal year, but it comes at the expense of approximately 100 of the currently 150 employees.
"Unfortunately the folks who are going to lose their positions - they are going to notice a change, and frankly we want to focus on the fact that through the opportunity to lease this space from the city of Las Vegas that we're going to keep upwards of 50 people employed," Hacker said.
In an emailed statement, a Las Vegas city spokesman told FOX5, "Las Vegas is attempting to be a good community partner by working with North Las Vegas during its budget struggles in a way that will have minimal impact to the city of Las Vegas."
Hacker stressed that the quality of services would not be impacted.
"If (law-breakers) need to be jailed, they're going to be jailed, and our staff is basically going to be monitoring most of those inmates," Hacker said.
FOX5 has made several attempts to reach the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association for comment about the proposal.
Both city councils are scheduled to discuss the transfer next Wednesday.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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