COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -
The Muscogee County Jail can house up to 967 inmates. Currently, 160 of the 850 inmates are waiting to be transferred to state facilities. The department of corrections says on average, prisoners are transported within 4 to 6 weeks. But, that doesn't always happen.
"If the Department of Corrections doesn't have the bed space, we have to wait until the space opens up and that keeps the backlog of cases," says Darr.
Another contributing factor, Darr says, is a local problem that deals with the lack of manpower and paperwork.
"If you have a person in jail and the co-defendant is out and doesn't come to court, the judge issues a bench warrant, the person lingers in our jail until the codefendant can be found," add Darr.
With other duties including field operations like delivering subpoenas and transporting mentally ill inmates, he says the bench warrants can get pushed back a little. But, the hiring of 12 new deputies could change that.
"I'm excited, the more personnel we have, it will make our jobs easier," according to Darr.
Sheriff Darr says he plans to add those 12 deputies to his staff in July. Four of them will serve bench warrants...helping to move cases and bring relief to the overcrowding problem.