Dougherty County jail population is lower - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty County jail population is lower

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October 20, 2003

Albany-- Dougherty County's jail population is down for the fifth consecutive month. A joint effort by all Law enforcement agencies has paid off with fewer people in the jail. For you, that means a big savings in tax dollars.

There are are 910 people being held in the Dougherty County jail-- about 160 fewer inmates than an average day at the start of the year. It costs county taxpayers $38 per inmate everyday they are in jail. Those costs add up to millions quickly.

Lt. Lance Montgerard of the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office said "If you do the math comes up to $195,000 a month. Or two point four millions dollars a year we are saving the tax payers of Dougherty County and the city of Albany for that reduction in inmates."

Dougherty County Judges, the District Attorney, Parole and Probation Department officials earlier this year started working together to lower the Jail population. Judge Stephen Goss says speeding up trial dates for inmates being held has helped. "Each case does not seem like it makes a big difference. But if you get an extra ten or fifteen people a day out of here, who are going to be here for twenty days, and we get them out of here in eighteen, it starts adding."

From 1995 to 2000 the population in Dougherty County jail kept getting bigger and bigger. Now the number of inmates is falling every month. But state budget cuts could hurt this work. Judge Goss said "If we have sentenced people and the state has not picked them up to move them into the state prison system, that's a problem that is outside of our control. So we were looking at things that we did have some input on."

Judge Goss said one of the biggest strains on the Dougherty County jail are drug addicts. If a person tests positive for drugs, they are held an average of two weeks to let the narcotics clean out of their system. Better therapy for drug addicts than jail could save your tax dollars.

posted at 4:22 PM by jimw@walb.com