The Garland County jail has temporarily stopped taking female inmates arrested on or convicted of misdemeanors because of overcrowding concerns.
The Sentinel-Record reports the policy has been in place since Feb. 1. Chief Deputy of Corrections Steven Elrod says the female inmate population has exceeded operational capacity since January, peaking at 80 inmates.
Elrod says the policy will remain in effect until the inmate count drops to 58 women or fewer. As of Wednesday, the jail had 64 female inmates.
The $42 million jail opened about four years ago and was aimed at addressing overcrowding concerns. But a consultants’ report found that the jail’s inmate population has increased 34 percent since the jail opened in 2015, significantly outpacing the rate that was predicted when plans were made for the facility.