by ANDY SEVILLA
County Commissioners last week accepted nearly $65,000 in federal assistance for the incarceration of undocumented criminal immigrants in Hays County.
The money will be used as reimbursements for costs incurred during the incarceration of undocumented immigrants who are convicted of a felony or a second misdemeanor and are jailed for at least four consecutive days at the Hays County Jail.
At its Oct. 23 meeting, the commissioners court approved receipt of $64,768 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) for the Fiscal Year 2012 State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP).
According to county documents, this is a renewal grant that Hays County has been receiving for jail operation expenses, which include correctional salary costs.
Hays County fared better than some surrounding counties in FY2012 SCAAP grants. BJA’s website states that Comal, Bastrop and Caldwell counties received $56,444, $31,687 and $7,034, in SCAAP grants, respectively, while Travis County took in $492,999, and the state was granted $10.7 million.
These monies are administered by the BJA in conjunction with the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Since Fiscal Year 2007, SCAAP awards must be used for correctional purposes only, according to the BJA website. Those allowed uses include salaries for correctional officers, overtime costs, corrections work force recruitment and retention, construction of corrections facilities, training and education for offenders, training for correction officers related to offender population management, consultants involved with offender population, medical and mental health services, vehicle rental/purchase for transport of offenders, prison industries, pre-release/reentry programs, technology involving offender management/inter-agency information sharing, and disaster preparedness continuity of operations for corrections facility.