Overcrowding at Butler County Jail

By Cory Stark – bio |email

BUTLER COUTY (FOX 19)  Butler County has two jail facilities, with a combined 1,100 beds. Over the last few days all those beds have been full.

The Butler County jail stretches the length of three football fields and county officials said more than 16,000 inmates come and go each year. In just the last few weeks the jail population has increased to full capacity.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said, "the economy is in a mess, people who normally aren't in jail are in jail."

The jail is also considering alternative housing called "boats", which are cot like beds that go on the floor. The jail has had them for several years but never have had to use them, this year could be a different story.

"We are prepared, we hope it doesn't go that way, but we will see what happens," said Lieutenant Nick Fisher, Butler County Warden.

Every inmate at the jail isn't a Butler County inmate. The jail has several hundred contract inmates from other counties. Despite the overcrowding problem, Lieutenant Fisher said the county will continue to house contract inmates because it brings in revenue.

Lieutenant Fisher said, "The number of contract inmates does offset the cost of a Butler County inmates in our facility. So you need that money coming in also."

Sheriff Jones said opening another jail could be a solution.

"We are looking at the possibility of a feasibility study to open up another jail, it's to that point, said Sheriff Jones.