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Inmates may move to Pelham

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Inmates could soon ship out to south Georgia, under a new agreement between the sheriff and officials in Pelham, approved by commissioners Tuesday.

The move could affect 230 inmates sentenced to the Georgia Department of Corrections who have not been transferred to prison and another 125 awaiting paperwork, Chief Sheriff's Deputy Mike Boyd said.

In addition to alleviating overcrowding in the jail, where 395 inmates now sleep on the floor, Boyd said the deal would save up to $297,000 in 2010.

Pelham officials agreed to a rate of $22 per inmate per day, which is the same amount that county officials are paid by the state for housing the inmates. All told, though, inmates represent a $45 per day cost to the jail, meaning the transfer will save the county $23 a day per inmate.

"This is a really good deal for Gwinnett County and a tremendous tax savings," Boyd said.