Indigent offenders driving up cost of county’s electronic monitoring program
There now are 65 county inmates on electronic monitoring, versus the usual 40
By Regina Dennis
MCLENNAN COUNTY — A growing number of McLennan County inmates are on electronic monitoring in lieu of going to jail, but the increase means the county is incurring more expenses for indigent offenders who cannot afford to pay for the program.
There now are 65 county inmates on electronic monitoring, the highest number of offenders who have been on the program at one time, according to Ronnie Marroquin, manager of the Waco branch of Recovery Healthcare, which administers the program.
The county typically has had about 40 offenders enrolled in the initiative at one time, County Judge Scott Felton said.
The county began the electronic monitoring program in October 2012 as an alternative to jail in an effort to lower the county’s jail population and its costs of housing inmates.
But a significant number of those inmates are indigent, meaning the county has to pick up the cost of their daily ankle monitor service.