Female Prostitutes and drug users in Hamilton County will no longer spend a night in jail. Once they are arrested, they will be booked and released back out onto the streets until their court hearing. The jail is so overcrowded, there's only room for women charged with the most serious felonies. The new policy was set by Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis. Spokesperson Steve Barnett says at least ninety percent of these women would bond out the next morning anyway. It's just a temporary fix, and that overcrowding could be solved by building a larger jail.
City officials say talks on the issue will have to take place soon. "My goal would not be to put a bunch of women in jail per say, but we have to have a deterrent, and putting them in jail for a short period of time has been part of that deterrent, " says council member David Crowley.
FOX 19 went undercover and hit the streets to talk with women working street corners to find out if the deterrent has been lost. Most of these women at first thought it was too good to be true, "That ain't true. That's not true. They'll find room."
Once they were showed the facts in black and white and were convinced, they said it was good news. However, police still intimidate them and they will proceed with caution, "Police will do what they want to do. Believe me. I ain't trying to get handcuffed by them and go get booked. I ain't trying to go through that, so I ain't trying to put myself in jail."