For the 2018 fiscal year Northern Neck Regional Jail held its title for having the lowest operating costs of any jail in the state, regional or otherwise, the latest Jail Cost Report shows.
Regional jails’ average operating costs were $69.45 per inmate per day, beating the statewide average of $87.20, but Northern Neck Regional Jail undercut both, with costs of $48.83 per inmate.
The facility’s expenditures were below average in nearly every major category in the report. Expenses such as wages and benefits are listed as personal services, which accounts for over 67% of daily operating costs across the state. On average, regional jails spent $45.49 on the category but NNRJ only spent $33.43.
The facility spent less than half the average amount per person on medical expenses and outperformed its peers on food costs, feeding inmates for $2.50 a day compared to the statewide average of $3.52.
According to superintendent Ted Hull, NNRJ can post these numbers because it places a premium on fiscal management and operates accordingly.
With food, for example, the facility made an agreement whereby the food service technicians are jail employees but the food service program is the provider’s. So, the provider outlines dietician-approved menus designed to be both cost efficient and nutritious and a “top notch” food management team ensures strict portion control as well as menu and recipe management to minimize over production, over provision, waste and abuse, said Hull. Furthermore, the provider’s purchasing power allows the NNRJ to buy food cheaper than it otherwise could.
For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 12/11/19