Q As part of a contract for inmate labor, may a county charge a school district fees for housing these prisoners?

A No, a school district may not pay for the housing of inmates. A school district may contract with the county for labor provided to the school district through a public service work program, and the school district may pay a reasonable amount for the labor. Sections 47-5-901 requires the Mississippi Department of Corrections to reimburse the county the cost of housing state prisoners housed in county jail due to a lack of capacity at state correctional facilities. Section 47-1-39 authorizes a municipality to contract with the county to house municipal prisoners in the county jail. No similar statute exists authorizing school districts to pay for the housing of an inmate participating in a public service work program. (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Courtney, July 29, 2016)