Officials in Montezuma County, Col. are planning to roll out a Web-based collection management system next week to help collect more than $311,000 in debt owed by current and former inmates. The delinquencies date back at least a decade and include items such as booking fees, medical expenses and commissary charges.
Pay My Jailer is one of several services offered by Kentucky-based Advent Financial Services. The system is free to law enforcement agencies and no software has to be purchased or installed. The firm profits by charging delinquent inmates to use the payment service, according to the company’s website. The law enforcement agencies - in this case the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office - receive 100% of the collected funds.
Advent Financial states that collections typically increase by more than one-third. More than a dozen counties in Colorado already use the service although at least one stopped doing so for unspecified compatibility reasons.
Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin began pursuing an outside agency for the collections work after, during his first year as sheriff last year, he dispatched a collections clerk to determine the county’s total inmate debt.