DepCor owes feds $8M for inmates - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DepCor owes feds $8M for inmates

by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Department of Corrections is finally paying the federal Bureau of Prisons the millions of dollars it owes for having inmates sent off-island.  And the local agency has racked up a bill for the past decade.

$8 million is the total amount that DepCor owes to the feds in order to pay off its bill for having accommodated the dozens of high-risk inmates for the past ten years.  "These payments to bureau of prisons are for those individuals that have been deemed to pose a grave danger, not only to the community of Guam, but to the staff of the department of corrections and other inmates," said agency director J.B. Palacios.

Palacios says it was in the previous GovGuam administration that an order was given to stop payments to the BOP temporarily, in an attempt to rather use the funds for capital improvement projects and war reparations.  Palacios says Governor Felix Camacho reinstated the use of funds to pay off the bill, the first payment coming from GovGuam's 2010 fiscal year debt elimination appropriation.

"The part of all of this comes back to the consent order which we are going to be getting relief from," he noted.  Palacios also says the department will be spending $500,000 for its first payment. He adds that the U.S. Treasury is working out the remainder of the payment plan. However, it remains unclear why only now Guam's public sector has decided to pay up.

"The worst-case scenario, should the jurisdictions that have these individuals incarcerated decide to return them here, the danger that would place the community is just unimaginable," Palacios said.

Palacios did say the payments are part of the governor's mission of what they call "finishing out this administration strong".

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