Meeting on Jail Overcrowding in Gadsden County

Jail overcrowding is not new to Gadsden County. The sheriff says though the crime rate has decreased the inmate population has nearly doubled. Thursday, sheriff Woodham met with community leaders and citizens with hopes of locking down a solution. County commissioners say they need to explore all options.

"Maybe we do need to get a consultant go out and look at the problem from top to bottom from the time they come into the criminal justice system to the time they're sentenced and where they're sentence and we have to study it, we need to look at it and not just jump at a situation because it's right before us," says Ed Dixon, Gadsden County Commissioner.

State attorney Rick Combs agrees. He says jail overcrowding is a systemic problem and unfortunately there is no one key to unlock the problem.

"One of our biggest problems that I've indicated is a holdup in the psychological evaluation and unfortunately there has been an over expansion of the use of psycho-evaluation in cases and any time that's done that slows the whole case down," Combs says.

However, some citizens say officials should try to look outside the county for answers. Commissioners are hoping to find a cost effective solution. Commissioners are now looking at options like work camps and a so-called “rocket docket.” It's a fast paced trial schedule used in Leon County.