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County Officials Still Fixing Jail Overcrowding

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Helena Area officials are still working to fix the overcrowding problem at the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center.

Sheriff Leo Dutton says the jail overcrowding situation has only gotten worse.

Dutton says ideally, the jail would house about 43 inmates comfortably.

Right now, the Lewis and Clark County Jail is holding 77 inmates. And others are being held in Townsend, Bozeman and Great Falls.

To combat the problem, local officials formed the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council in July of last year.

Dutton says the council looked at different ways to reduce the number of jail inmates.

Sheriff leo dutton says, "We need to make sure that we take advantage of any diversion programs or anything that helps people get back on their feet such as the 24/7 program, the drug treatment court program."

Consultant John Ferrone was hired to assess how the jail has been used over time.

He's looking for potential trends in inmates' criminal behavior.

John Ferrone says, "Have they been using their space wisely? Do the different jail usages point to possibly the need for different processes outside the jail?"

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helena, Lewis and Clark County, inmates, overcrowding, Dutton, jail, leo

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