2012-09-26 / Local News

Jail overcrowded?

Administrator says reduce, don’t expand
By LARRY HILLIARD Ledger Staff Writer larry@gaffneyledger.com

The county’s remedy to overcrowding at the detention center will focus on inmate reduction rather than facility expansion.

Cherokee County Assistant Administrator Holland Belue told Cherokee Council members he inserted his comments into a report completed by detention center officials.

County officials have until Oct. 16 to submit a longterm plan to the Department of Corrections (DOC) to address the deficiencies discovered during a recent state inspection. Those deficiencies include inmate intake procedures, staffing and overcrowding.

The jail was built to house 150 inmates, but has averaged about 210 inmates during the past few months.

Belue said he inserted into the report that Solicitor Barry Barnette was able to obtain four additional weeks of General Sessions court time next year, which will help move court cases through the system faster.

He said he retained sections in the report stating the county will consider the option of holding Transfer Court and plans to reduce the inmate population through work programs.

The final plan also mentions the possibility of transferring county prisoners to other county detention centers.

Belue requested that council members review and suggest changes to the plan by Oct. 1.

Council Chairman Tim Spencer said he will call a special meeting to vote on the plan before the Oct. 16 deadline.

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