SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-(6/17/17) In an effort to once again alleviate chronic overcrowding in the Greene County Jail, county officials are once again entertaining the idea of adding temporary jail space. According to Greene County Commissioner Bob Cirtin, the county pays to house anywhere between 80 to 120 inmates in five different counties around the state. With enough space to house only 601 inmates, taxpayers must pay the price to transport and house those excess prisoners elsewhere until more space is added. “In 2017 we are going to spend more than two million dollars just sending inmates to other jails,” said Cirtin.
A previous attempt to add temporary jail space in 2016 was unsuccessful due to the high cost, but a company has come forward with a new concept that could be much more affordable.
This new proposed plan would house an additional 108 inmates in three pods in the parking lot just east of the jail, two pods would be used for a common area for inmates to watch television and play games, and one pod for restrooms and a shower.
Even after adding staff to operate the temporary structure, the county hopes to spend less overall then they are to transport inmates elsewhere.
“If the price comes back, it’s all about cost, if the price comes back to where we can afford it we will act fairly quickly," said Cirtin.
Greene County currently has no plans to talk with the City of Springfield about sharing the cost for a temporary addition, Cirtin emphasizing that this would not be a permanent long term solution.
“At some point in time we are going to have to increase the capacity of the current jail, we don’t have the money to do that just yet, that is a question taxpayers will have to answer at some point in time.”