Worcester County Jail

(Dec. 28, 2018) Worcester County has received more than $42 million since 2012 for housing Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees at its jail. Worcester is just one among several other counties in Maryland to do this.

The county is being paid $87.11 per day, per inmate. With 151 detainees in the jail as of June, that would have made the county $13,200 per day.

The county received more than $5 million to hold ICE detainees, according to revenue figures since 2012 provided by Chief Administrative Officer Harold Higgins. There was one exception: figures for 2015 were less than $5 million.

The county was paid around $5.68 million in 2012, about $5.75 million in 2013, approximately 5.19 million in 2014, nearly $4.7 million in 2015, about $5.04 million in 2016, and around $5.22 million in 2017, according to Higgins.

The figure for 2018 is unclear, but the 2019 budget allocated $5.2 million for those years, according to county data. 

Approximately $42,282,043 was put into the jail’s fund over the past several years.

Kim Moses, a public information officer for the county, said the fees paid for detainees’ expenditures. It’s unclear who exactly is being held at the jail for immigration issues, but Moses said there weren’t many detainees being held at the jail who were actually arrested in Worcester County. She added no families or children were held at the jail.

Moses then directed Ocean City Today to ICE’s public affairs office for further questions on federal guidelines via “Privacy Guidance for Enforcement and Removal Operations Field Offices: responding to phone calls about detainees June 7, 2011.”

In order to get information about specific detainees, ICE Spokesperson Justine Whelan, said she’d need the detainees name and “A-number,” which identifies a specific case.

If the caller doesn’t know the specific information about the detainees, the overall process appears to stop dead in its tracks. 

“If you have a name and an A-number, I can look into whatever releasable information is available for a specific individual, however I don’t have anything further for you on this,” she said in a statement.

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