Official overcrowding of the Barry County Jail is five days with 95 or more inmates at a time, triggering emergency status.
When an emergency is declared by Sheriff Dar Leaf, the procedure calls for a meeting with him, Chief Judge William Doherty and chairman of the Barry County Commission Ben Geiger to come up with a solution, he said.
“We have options. We’ve been down this path before, so we know how to do it.”
Reconfiguring bonds conditions, releasing low-level offenders who have served 90 to 95 percent of their time, or housing inmates in neighboring jails, which has been done in the past, are some options.
“I don’t want to house them outside; it costs $30 to $35 a day plus possible medical costs,” he said. “We’re at 99 inmates right now; two inmates are on parole, they could be sent to prison, two more are sentenced to prison, so that would get us under the 95 again, and the count starts over,” he said.
“We’re at 99, the rule is 95 inmates a day for five days. We’re trying to prevent that…I want a game plan before it gets to an emergency,” he said. “It’s getting close.”