The Cost Of Feeding Inmates

Chatham-Kent taxpayers are now responsible for the estimated $24,000 cost of feeding Windsor jail inmates who are visiting the Chatham courthouse.

Before the closure of the Chatham jail, inmates visiting for court dates were sent with boxed lunches.

“Now when they are shipped out of Windsor they do not come with meals. When we have them here during the day time, of course, we have to feed them and that does result in an additional cost on a daily basis,” says Chatham-Kent Police Chief Dennis Poole. “We didn’t really anticipate that this would be an issue, we assumed the same program would be in place. This has been an issue we’ve had to bring to the ministry and seek some redress on.”

Poole says the police service is asking for the provincial government to subsidize the cost of the lunches or re-introduce the boxed lunch program.

The Ministry of Correctional services tells operating costs for the Chatham jail during the 2013-2014 fiscal year came in at $4-million. Transferring prisoners from the Chatham courthouse to the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre and the new Windsor jail is estimated to cost $520,000 annually.