In 2007, the federal government implemented the web-based eIGA system to automate the procedure for negotiating new IGAs for housing federal prisoners in local jails. Prior to it, local Sheriffs calculated per diem rates based upon OMB guidelines using Form USM-243 entitled “Cost Sheet For Detention Services”. In establishing the new eIGA system, the government advanced its goal of streamlining the negotiation process, but its methodology does not generate per diem rates which accurately reflect the cost of housing federal prisoners. i-detain is the local Sheriff’s response to eIGA.
How does it work?
i-detain is an algorithm designed to capture all allowable and allocable costs related to the housing of federal prisoners in a local jail, and then evaluate that cost data against other pertinent non-cost factors in order to generate a new federal per diem rate. More specifically, the i-detain algorithm develops an “e-bed-rate” which includes key elements such as personnel salaries and benefits; care and treatment costs; general operating expenses; vehicle operations costs; safety and sanitation expenses; insurance costs; and facility depreciation. It also includes costs typically overlooked when utilizing the eIGA methodology alone, including costs from the Sheriff’s Administrative and Field Operations, as well as county central services. i-detain then evaluates this cost data against other relevant non-cost factors, including established federal government IGA negotiating positions; federal fiscal projections for jail bed space resources; existing per diem rates paid to comparable sized jails in the district; as well as other related elements. The e-bed-rate provides the local Sheriff with a better informed position for negotiations with the federal government.
The Proof is in the Results
The results of i-detain are seen in new, higher per diem rates negotiated and approved by the federal government. i-detain captures 10 – 15 percent more allowable and allocable prisoner cost data then local governments not using the system. The process of then evaluating this data against other relevant non-cost factors translates into federal per diem rates that are 20 – 25 percent higher, generating more annual revenue for the local government.