Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich expressed doubt Tuesday that the city of Spokane could save any money by hiring a private company to run a municipal lockup.
“We looked at privatization,” Knezovich said, adding the department had talked with a Montana company while researching options for a regional jail to serve the Spokane area’s future needs. “We never could get that to pencil out.”
Knezovich’s comments came in response to questions asked during a meeting with Spokane-area journalists. City officials announced earlier this month they’re exploring cheaper alternatives to the county jail, which is operated by the Sheriff’s Office, and that its options could include hiring a private company to house low-risk inmates.
Among other things, private jails often want to limit the risk they face in caring for medically needy inmates, but someone has to bear that cost, Knezovich said.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.