SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTHI)- Jeff Griffith is the jail commander of the Sullivan County Jail. In years past he would take calls from other counties seeking help, but that isn't the case right now.
"I've called all the way down from Vanderburgh County, tall the way over to Monroe County, and as far north as Vermillion County," said Griffith.
The Sullivan County Jail has a capacity of 54 inmates. Its current number sits at 88, with another 30 inmates being housed at other county jails.
"Through the winter things get settled down and numbers tend to dip,” said Sullivan Sheriff Clark Cottom discussing the trends when it comes to inmate numbers at the jail. “This winter it did not happen, in fact, we saw a continuing increase in our population."
Right now Sheriff Cottom is struggling with where to put inmates as they come in. Each inmate they send to another county though cost them roughly $35 dollars a day.
Thankfully these costs haven’t been taken out of the county yet. They are using funds raised years ago from housing neighboring inmates just like they are doing now.
County leaders have been working to come up with a solution for months. That ranges to discussing future facility changes to new programs in the courts.
"We have all been working closely together. I have met with our local judges and our local prosecutor and they have been coming up with creative ways to try and reduce the population," said Cottom.
For now, the jail can only take it one day at a time. In the meantime, the sheriff and his jail staffers are hoping to get things back under control sooner rather than later.
"Everybody knows it can cause lawsuits and its just something that just need to get ahead of here in Sullivan County," said Griffith.
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