Being convicted of certain crimes means going to jail, right?
Not necessarily, say Box Elder County sheriff Bob Limb and Box Elder County Jail Commander Lynn Yeates.Increased overcrowding of the Brigham City facility has resulted both in court suspension of certain jail sentences and in "waiting in line" to serve time.
Yeates says the average jail population has steadily risen over the past year from 15 to 44, well over the allowable 28 inmates.
In response to the overcrowding, local judges have discontinued "weekend sentences." Some 48 potential inmates already given weekend sentences are on a waiting list to serve their time when space is available.
In a further effort to ease crowding, prisoners who normally would have to make bail or go to jail were released on their own recognizance if they met specific criteria.
Still, the jail population keeps growing.
While adding on to the current jail may appear to be an option, Limb points out that although remodeling of the 1947-vintage facility in 1974 met federal regulations at the time, it no longer does. If the county were to add on to the existing structure, all current federal mandates would have to be met. The consensus is that the county would be money ahead to build a completely new jail.