Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf has declared an overcrowding emergency at the county jail. The inmate population, set by the Michigan Department of Corrections at 93, is at 104 today, and has been more than the limit for the last five days, triggering the action.
The declaration is part of the process for notifying Barry County Chief Judge William Doherty, the Prosecutor’s Office and the chair of the Barry County Board of Commissioners. Leaf said he would meet with officials and jail staff to consider what options they have to lower the numbers.
Previously during overcrowding events, officials have reduced bonds for certain inmates and some low level offenders who had served a percentage of their sentences were given early release.
The last time they couldn’t bring the count down through any other means, some inmates were housed in other county jails at the cost of $35 a day per inmate, plus any medical expenses, Leaf said.
Additionally, there are 20 to 24 women in the jail, which is unusually high, Leaf said. “That’s a quarter of the population, with just 13 beds available for them. We usually have seven or eight women.”