COUNTY OF SAN MATEO
December 1, 2008
BOARD MEETING DATE:
December 16, 2008
Honorable Board of Supervisors
Greg Munks, Sheriff
FY 2008-09 Jail Access Fee
Adopt a Resolution extending the Sheriff’s Office Jail Access Fee of $215 through June 30, 2009.
Commitments: Ensure basic health and safety for all; and Responsive, effective, and collaborative government.
Goals 7 and 22: Maintain and enhance the public safety of all residents and visitors; and County and local governments effectively communicate, collaborate, and develop strategic approaches to issues affecting the entire County.
Until July 1, 2007, arresting law enforcement agencies paid “booking fees” to compensate counties for the cost of booking arrestees. In 2007, the booking fee model was replaced with a State appropriation to a Local Detention Facilities Fund (“fund”). Each county receives an annual appropriation from the fund, based on the booking fee revenue recorded in the 2006-07 fiscal year. To compensate counties for increased bookings in future years, counties are authorized to charge local agencies a “Jail Access Fee” for bookings on certain misdemeanor violations that exceed a rolling three year average.
In any fiscal year in which the state appropriation to the fund exceeds $35 million, counties may not charge booking fees and must rely on jail access fees. If the State appropriation to the fund is less than $35 million, a county may collect booking fees in proportion to the amount that the amount appropriated is less than thirty-five million dollars ($35,000,000). While state law had capped Booking Fees at 50% of the cost of booking an inmate, the Jail Access Fee is based on the actual cost of a booking, which is currently $215 for San Mateo County.
On November 27, 2007, your Board adopted the Jail Access Fee for fiscal year 2007-2008. On September 9, 2008, due to the delayed adoption of the State budget, your Board renewed the Jail Access Fee through December 31, 2008.
Based on recent legislative events and first quarter fiscal information, we recommend an extension of the previously-approved Jail Access Fee through the remainder of the fiscal year.
While the State budget did include a 10% cut to the fund, which would have allowed for counties to charge a prorated Booking Fee, we recommend against the imposition of the booking fee. Under current circumstances, the booking fee would be limited to $11.65 per booking. While the 10% cut in the Local Detention Facilities Fund translates to a $75,865 cut in the Sheriff’s revenue this fiscal year, the number of bookings has increased. Therefore, Jail Access Fee revenue, based on first quarter actuals, is projected to exceed this year’s budget by as much as $81,000, making up for the State funding shortfall.
Therefore, we recommend extension of the existing Jail Access Fee through the remainder of the fiscal year, or June 30, 2009. We also recommend not to reinstate a prorated booking fee for this fiscal year.
We will take action on the reinstatement of the Booking Fee, if applicable, once we have direction from the State with the recommended budget release in early 2009. In a letter to each local agency police chief, dated July 25, 2008, our office communicated the extension of the Jail Access Fee under the provision of AB 1805.
County Counsel has reviewed and approved this report and resolution as to form.
There is no net county cost.