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Sullivan moves closer to vote on ankle bracelets for some inmates

December 3rd, 2013 11:20 pm by J. H. Osborne

Sullivan moves closer to vote on ankle bracelets for some inmates

BLOUNTVILLE — The use of ankle bracelets for some inmates — to allow them to serve sentences at home rather than in the county jail — is moving closer to reality in Sullivan County.

The Sullivan County Commission will likely vote on a proposal in January that will help seal the deal.

The commission’s Executive Committee unanimously endorsed the measure on Tuesday.

Commissioner Mark Bowery, primary sponsor of that resolution, said he plans to leave it on “first reading” when the full commission meets Dec. 16 and bring it back for a vote in January.

The resolution authorizes creation of a $50,000 budgetary account to fund the program for eligible participants recognized as indigents by local courts.

That amount would be funded, at least in part, by fees generated through the ankle bracelet program — collected from those with the means to pay.

Bowery and other supporters of the use of ankle bracelets have said the program will save money for county taxpayers, especially in the long run.

The move is seen as a way to improve efficiencies in jail spending and stave off future expansions by reducing the inmate population at the oft-overcrowded county jail.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Wednesday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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