Video: Jail Populations Swells During Certain Times Of The Year

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) – In the middle of the night, when local deputies make an arrest, they take the suspects to jail.

Well, Yes and no. Depending on the time of year, county jails can get overcrowded.

That’s why neighboring law enforcement agencies work together to provide beds for inmates and safety for deputies, prisoners, and the public.

Jail overcrowding is a statewide issue, but it’s an even bigger one when a certain time of year rolls around.

Every 3 months, counties hold circuit court. The jail populations swells when extra inmates are transported from state prisons to the courtroom where they’re facing more charges, and that causes jail capacity to reach the max, so prisoners have to be moved to other jails that have the bed space.

“We typically work with other local jails in trying to help overcrowding situations, and at times, during which the court times are different, our numbers go up in every jail, so we’re always willing to help our neighbors out to try to help them throughout the process, and they do the same for us,” says Clay County Sheriff, Eddie Scott.

The inmate’s record affects their location.

“What the charge is, and a lot of other factors. How much of a risk that inmate is, and things like that, and of course, you’ll pick up the phone and call to see if they can house particular inmate,” says Lowndes County Sheriff Mike Arledge.

Sometimes, even though county jails have room, it doesn’t mean an inmate can be housed there.

“Even though we can have 288, there may be times when we don’t have 288 full, but we’re still overcrowded because we have to keep them in a separate location,” says Arledge.

Circuit court for Oktibbeha County will be in session next month, which means a lot of movement.

“We get busy during football season, and what a lot of people may not understand is the highway patrol uses this jail, the city of Starkville uses this jail, the Mississippi State Police Department uses this jail, and then the Sheriff’s Department, so there’s a good amount of agencies bringing people in and out out, but really the only time I have a problem is during circuit court,” says Oktibbeha County Sheriff, Steve Gladney.

Since Starkville is a college town, the weekends are busy, but most crime is alcohol related, and most bond out, so it doesn’t cause a big problem, unless.

“If it happens during court, where you’re already at max capacity anyway, then it causes a problem, then you might have to carry a DUI to Clay County, or you might have to carry one to Winston County,” says Gladney.

Oktibbeha and Clay County court terms start in October, and Lowndes County’s starts in November.

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