Leon County Jail: Addressing Overcrowding

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Nine hundred and seventy five inmates puts the Leon County Jail at overcapacity, and that's far below Friday's head count at 1,068. The Sheriff's Office says it's not going to get any better.

SGT Chris Chase says, "The incarceration rate continues, and as serious crimes are going, we need to look at alternatives."

There is already one alternative to the jail cell for low risk inmates, a work camp.

Chase adds, "They're able to pay back to society, they're able to work for society."

On any given day there are about 100 people participating in work camps across Leon County. Cutting down on space, the Sheriff's Office says that's because half get to go home.

"It gives another option for low risk inmates instead of sitting in a jail cell and costing the county hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Leon County Commissioner Ed Depuy is heading up another alternative to spending millions on another jail, a work farm.

Six hundred thousand dollars have already been set aside, and Depuy says more money is on the way, alternatives that not only save on jail time, but save taxpayer money.

Jam-packed work camps save Leon County more than $1 million a year. Commissioner Depuy says the work farm could go up as soon as two years.