Stone Calls on Mecklenburg to Honor Detainers or Forego $29 Million for Housing Federal Inmates
Mecklenburg County Commission Chair George Dunlap Responds – Dunlap Encourages Feds to Relocate Hundreds of Inmates, Eliminate Funding
(Charlotte, NC) – This week former State Representative Scott Stone (R-Mecklenburg) called on the Mecklenburg County Sheriff to honor ICE detainers or give up its lucrative contract with the U.S. Marshals Service.
In a letter sent to Sheriff Garry McFadden, members of the Mecklenburg County Commission, and County Manager Dena Diorio, Stone said, “It is hypocritical that Mecklenburg County will openly cooperate with – and accept $29 million annually from – the U.S. Marshals Office by serving as a detention facility for federal inmates, but will not honor a simple detainer request by a different federal agency.”
Stone highlighted in his letter some of the inmates housed in the Mecklenburg County jail under the U.S. Marshals Service contract were the same inmates who were previously the subject of refused ICE detainer requests. If Sheriff McFadden (or another sheriff) chooses to ignore an ICE detainer, ICE agents are required to re-arrest the individual in the community and the U.S. Marshals take custody of the prisoner who is delivered to back to the Mecklenburg County jail.
“It seems North Carolina’s Sanctuary Sheriffs are willing to take a political stand to appease their base by ignoring ICE detainers,” Stone said. “But they ignore their principles when their departments can make money housing some of the same inmates.”
Mecklenburg Board Chairman Responds
Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners Chairman George Dunlap responded to Stone’s letter and was open to the possibility of losing millions in federal revenue.
Included Chairman Dunlap’s email response, “As for the excepting [SIC] of federal money for housing federal inmates is concerned, that can easily be resolved if the federal government would build it’s [SIC] own detention facilities. Thank you for your concern.”
Almost 2/3 of federal inmates are housed in state and local detention facilities.1
In a subsequent email response to Stone, Chairman Dunlap doubled down on the idea and stated, “It could possibly solve the federal governments space concerns or maybe you could make better use of your time convincing your friends in the Federal Government to seek jail space at some other jail..”
Stone suggests this issue has a common-sense solution.
“Sheriff McFadden should cooperate with all federal law enforcement as his oath requires.” Stone said, “Honoring ICE detainers is in the best interest of the community and will ensure no adverse impact to the county’s budget.”