Hancock County Commissioners Look At Jail Overcrowding Issue

06/28/19 – 12:15 P.M.

The Hancock County Commissioners got an update on jail overcrowding during a meeting Thursday afternoon. Jail Administrator Lt. Ryan Kidwell explained that the jail is designed to hold 98 prisoners. On Monday there were 146 inmates in the jail and on Tuesday there were 136 inmates. This forces the county to pay to house prisoners in other jails.

The Sheriff’s Office will be out of money to house prisoners by the end of August. Fiscal officer Becky Smith said that they will need an additional $222,000 to finish out the remainder of the year. The commissioners had allocated $525,000 to fund housing expenses this year.

Another issue is inmates taking up space while they wait on paperwork or space to open up in the state prison system. Misdemeanor inmates can be held for a week or two while their paperwork is gathered. The group said that the space could be better used for more serious offenders.