Officials OK reimbursement
Grant will pay county for housing illegal immigrants

LAWRENCEVILLE - Officials approved a $152,247 grant Tuesday to reimburse the county for housing illegal immigrants in the local jail and prison.

"That's pittance for what we spend, but it's good to have something to defray the costs," Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said of the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Acting Warden David Peek said the county identified about 160 "criminal aliens" who were in the jail or prison 23,383 days for the grant. In order to qualify, the people had to be incarcerated for at least four days and convicted of at least one felony or two misdemeanors.

"I don't think you can gauge how many illegals are in the jail based on the grant," he said.

Peek said the grant paid about $20 a day per inmate, while the operating expenses are typically about $27 a day per inmate. About 95 percent of the funds will go to the jail, with the rest going to the Department of Corrections, he said.