A plan meant to reduce costs for one county while generating revenue for another is officially in motion.
Cumberland County will now house additional prisoners as Gloucester County plans to close its jail.
"We’re taking advantage of empty beds and helping the tax payers defray tax costs by charging Gloucester for taking their inmates and they save money by not having to run a jail,” said Warden of the Cumberland County Jail, Robert Balicki.
“It works out for both of us."
Warden Balicki says 78 prisoners have been moved to the county jail in Bridgeton with the plans of taking in roughly 100 total or 125 if necessary, all while maintaining costs for the county.
"It’s roughly twenty million to run the jail, when this agreement is in full swing, we anticipate a little more than three million in revenue coming to Cumberland County so take three million from twenty million and its going to cost tax payers seventeen million to run the jail," said Cumberland County Freeholder and Public Safety Liaison Joseph Derella.
Cumberland county officials say the transfer has been running smoothly thus far and there are plans to house an additional twenty to twenty five prisoners in the coming days and weeks.
The plan did receive criticism from some in both counties when it was announced, especially from corrections officers in Gloucester County who worried about the future of their jobs.
"My understanding, from the meeting today, everybody was able to retire or they found them a job with the state or in the county," said Balicki.
As far as safety is concerned, officials say the county has hired additional corrections officers and that the jail will operate at a safe and comfortable inmate population after the transfer.
"None of the critics have come up with the three million dollars a year that I'm going to make on one hundred inmates and it is very necessary here in Cumberland County," said Balicki.
Officials say the inmates have also been cooperative in the process.
New arrivals have been medically screened and assigned to proper housing within the jail.