A perfect storm is brewing out at the new Cleveland County Detention Center. After it opened, the state slowed up on taking custody of sentenced inmates waiting to be placed in state prisons. The smaller, old jail was on an emergency transfer list, which meant faster transfers.
The troubled economy also makes it harder for inmates waiting trial to come up with bond money. Additionally, municipal judges are sentencing offenders to jail time or fines. Many defendants can’t afford the fines, so they do the time.
The county said it may need to open another wing of the jail unless the state Department of Corrections sends a bus to take several dozen of their prisoners.
At the present, rate it would take nearly a year to transfer the state prisoners. In the meantime, the county gets 10 to 15 new inmates a month. The county will get paid for housing them — eventually.
It’s hard to fault the Department of Corrections. Their prisons and private facilities are full to the gills, too. It may be a long, hot summer.