SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - It could be a dangerous problem if not controlled: overcrowding in jails.
County jails, like Scott County Jail, can sometimes get overcrowded with inmates. Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter said when that happens, they call on other county and city jails to help with the overflow.
Walter said Scott County Jail is set up to hold 120 inmates. He said it can hold more if the extra inmates sleep on what they call "boats," with mats. But, Walter said for the most part, they call cities like Scott City, Miner or Chaffee to take the extra inmates.
Walter said inmates will go to the other facilities for days, weeks, or months depending on how long it takes for their jail population to go down.
Walter said there's a certain type on inmate that can go.
"We'll try to send the less problem people they're all in here for a reason, they're not all real serious criminals, but they're being held here for a reason, we'll work with the cities, they have the option to keep them or not. So they're looking to make money to offset some of their costs," said Walter.
Scott City Police Chief David Leeman said they bill the sheriff's department $25.00 a day for each inmate. He said that money helps offset their costs.
Leeman said they cannot take inmates that have to take medicine. He said those have to stay with the county jail nurse.
Walter said they will utilize other jails for reasons other than overcrowding.
"It helps, and there's sometimes our jail may not be full, and we may want to keep someone separate from other people in the jail, you know they may be involved in the same crime, and so we want to keep them away from each other so they're not able to talk, sometimes they may have a problem and turn on each other, and we don't need that in the jail, or they are able to communicate, and believe me they are able to do that through the jail system," said Walter.