Kendall and Kane County sheriffs plan partnership to house inmates

Kendall County jail inmates would be housed at the Kane County jail in St. Charles under a proposed partnership between the sheriffs of the two counties.

Sheriff Dwight Baird of Kendall and Sheriff Ron Hain of Kane said the initiative arose from a review of how the cashless bail system, which is set to take effect on Jan. 1, will affect inmate population counts.

"The new bail system is forecasted to drastically reduce the inmate count in Kendall County to the point that outsourcing inmates to another county jail in the region became a practical alternative to continuing to operate a county jail in Kendall County," Baird said in a news release.

Paying another county to house its inmates would save Kendall County money.

"There is a substantial savings," Baird said in an interview.

The amount to be paid per prisoner remains under negotiation, he said.

Both county boards will need to approve the arrangement. Baird said he expects to bring the proposal before a Kendall County Board committee early in August.

The two sheriffs said that because of the expected drop in the inmate population created by the cashless bail system, Kane County will have ample room to house the Kendall County inmates.

At a public safety forum earlier this spring, Hain said the Kane County jail has a capacity of 640 inmates, with an average of 320 people in the lockup on a given day.

During the same event, Baird said the Kendall County jail's capacity is 203 prisoners, with the daily population ranging from 130 to 140. About 15% of the inmates are serving sentences, while the rest are awaiting trial, he said.

On July 12, the Kendall jail in Yorkville was housing 132 prisoners, Baird said, but only 61 were from Kendall County, he said.

Inmates from Kendall County would benefit from the arrangement, Baird said.

Baird noted that Hain has created numerous detainee service programs that have reduced the opioid overdose deaths of the formerly incarcerated by 89%, dropped recidivism from a six-year average of 49% to 18%, helped to reduce countywide crime by 16%, and saved taxpayers an estimated $4.9 million.

"He (Hain) has the facilities up there and a lot of programs that have reduced inmate recidivism," Baird said, adding that Kendall County inmates will have access to programs that are already operating.

Baird said there would be some layoffs among corrections officers working at the Kendall County jail.

Transporting prisoners to Kane County would be the responsibility of the Kendall County sheriff's office or the arresting agency, Baird said. Ferrying inmates to the Kendall County Courthouse from the Kane jail for court hearings would be handled by Kendall corrections officers.

Hain indicated in the news release that some Kendall County officers might end up working at the Kane County jail.

"Our lateral hire opportunities will help to ensure Kendall County officers are not left without employment," Hain said.

"By working together, we save taxpayer money, and the inmates from Kendall County will have access to the same detainee services as Kane County inmates," Baird said.

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