Lincoln County is negotiating a three-year contract to take inmates from the Moapa Indian Tribe into the County Detention Center in Pioche.

Sheriff Kerry Lee reported his present efforts at the Board of County Commission meeting Jan. 7.

“The scope is between the Paiute tribe and Lincoln County for bed space at the Detention Center,” he said. “There will not be many inmates coming from the tribe, only about three or four a month, but this is basically because the Mesquite jail is full. It’s helpful to them, and it helps us out economically a little bit also.”

In some cases, Lee noted, “the tribe has been having to send inmates all the way to Owyhee, and they really needed to find somewhere else closer. I think we can provide that service.”

The contract Lee is negotiating has recommended the price for housing them in Pioche at between $85 and $90 per day. North Las Vegas is paying $75 a day with a 65-bed minimum.

Lee asked the board to approve his proposed contract with the tribe regarding payment to allow him to negotiate on the recommended daily rate if necessary.

Commissioners gave unanimous approval.

Part of the contract also states that if a Moapa inmate becomes ill while being housed at the detention center, Lincoln County will provide for their medical care, even at the Grover C. Dils Medical Center. However, if a Moapa inmate who comes is already ill upon arrival, that cost will need to be borne by the tribe. If an inmate has to stay at the hospital for an extended period of time, Lincoln County can bill the tribe for overtime for the officer who has to stay with the inmate.

Tribal officials are welcome to visit and inspect the detention center at their convenience upon prior communication.

Regarding transportation of the inmates, Lee noted that Moapa will be required to transport the inmates to Pioche themselves, unless transport arrangement can be worked out where inmates could be taken to the pickup site in North Las Vegas on days the Lincoln County van is making a pickup and/or release in the city.

“If we have room, they can come along with us,” Lee said.

Lee thinks the new larger transport van the county recently purchased will make things much easier.

“We are already going to North Las Vegas twice a week,” Lee said.

However, if the Lincoln County Detention Center is full, “or we feel there are inmates with medical problems we feel we don’t want to take, we don’t have to,” he said.

A similar contract is also being considered with Boulder City, but Lee said that is more involved and will take more time for attorneys from Boulder City and the Lincoln County District Attorney’s office to work out the details. It may be completed in the spring.