"What it really does is make sure nobody falls through the cracks," said Dan Holstein, chief of staff for the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office.
Holstein said having an updated list of inmates helps officials in the judicial system move people through the system much more efficiently. For instance, he said, if someone on probation is arrested and taken to jail, the probation office knows that the person has been arrested and can schedule a probation hearing much faster than without the list.
In addition, the list can help prosecutors and defense attorneys decide to change bond amounts or hearing dates. Holstein gave a hypothetical example of a shoplifter in jail because he or she can't pay a small bond.
Based on the severity of the case, the prosecution, defense and judge can make a decision to lower the bond to let the person out of jail until trial. Such action saves the county money, as paying the per diem rate would top the bond in three days.
"Do we really want these people to be in jail or not?" Holstein said.
The availability of the list also ensures that paperwork is completed upon sentencing and that sentencing orders have been completed for inmates.
A small part of the savings in July can be attributed to the 55-cent reduction in the per diem rate for prisoners that took effect July 1. Searls said the reduction saved the county about $3,500.
Not every month this year has been significantly lower. The jail bill in June, for example, was $381,030 - a savings of $4,333.
For the first seven months of 2013, the average monthly jail bill was $367,027, around $10,000 less than the same time period last year and about $18,000 less than the average for the entirety of 2012.
Holstein said the new system has greatly increased communication throughout the county's judicial system.
"Everybody's feedback has been great," Holstein said. "What's not to like about it?"
Contact writer Matt Murphy at Matt.Mur...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817.