For most years since 2003, the Sauk County Jail has had three staff to handle nearly the same average daily population of inmates as one staff handled in the old jail. From 2000 to 2019, the Sauk County Jail staff increased by about 52 while the rest of Sauk County government staff, including the other sheriff’s department, decreased by 35.

Surveys of jail staffing shows the average USA and Wisconsin jails to have 3.3 or more inmates per staff compared to two inmates - including renters - per staff in Sauk County.

This is why the Sauk County Jail is likely the most expensive Wisconsin jail per inmate, per day at $223 in 2018 and inmate per year at $81,149 in 2018; four times higher than many jails claim and has wasted millions of property tax dollars.

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A 2017 Vera Institute of Justice report clearly shows that over-incarceration of low-level offenders can actually increase crime rates and decrease safety. Typically at least 90% of county jail inmates are low-level offenders.

To reduce this unnecessary spending, the proposed 2020 Sauk County budget reduces the increased jail spending by an amount less than 3% of the sheriff’s entire budget.

Tom Kriegl, Sauk County Board member, Baraboo


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