Commissioner Steve Andes asked if it was possible to charge offenders when they're sent to jail.
"We want you guys to do your job, but how can we make the bad guy pay?" he said. "What if they're in jail 30 days; could we make them pay $3,000 over five years?"
"The problem is they just don't make it," Sorsaia said. "If you're convicted of a crime, you're unemployable -- you can't even get a job in fast food."
Commissioners noted their situation isn't unique and that most counties in the state are struggling to pay the rising costs to house inmates, but vowed to offer support for any drug treatment options, whether it be opened by the state or an agency that might consider coming to the county.
Community-based drug treatment centers, where addicts might report daily and there is little to no security, have been resisted in the past by residents, however, Deweese said. He cited the group Parents Against Addiction, which has tried for several years to open a facility in Putnam -- first in Hurricane and then in Buffalo. Critics snubbed the idea, saying it would cause trouble in their communities.
"Now they're looking in the Milton area, I believe," he said.
In other business at the meeting, commissioners agreed to advertise for bids from banks so county agencies can begin taking credit or debit card payments.
Last year, legislation was updated to allow more than just sheriff's departments to utilize the payment option, County Clerk Brian Wood said. He asked commissioners to approve the measure for all county departments to use if they choose.
County Attorney Jennifer Scragg Karr said the county could pass on to consumers any fee a bank might charge to swipe a card. It's usually assigned to the vendor, she said.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.