Muscogee County Sheriff's Office searching for faster way to move inmates through justice system

Rapid Resolution Initiative

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Sheriff John Darr told News Leader 9 the county jail is overcrowded with any inmate population over 1,069. Right now, they are holding anywhere from 1,120 to 1,140.

He added more than 14,000 people went through the doors just last year.

Assistant public defender Steve Craft said on any given Monday of those more than 1,000 inmates, 900 convicted felons are waiting for their day in court.

"Nobody should have to sit in court for almost a year to get their case resolved," Craft said.

The rapid resolution initiative will help move cases through the justice system faster so they don't get backlogged.

The docket is mainly a defendant not fighting their case, who will plead guilty so they can get in front of a judge faster instead of having to sit in the county jail for a long period of time.

Sheriff Darr says this will help lower the jail population and also bring justice to the victim.

"The less inmates we have, the less expense it's going to cost… not only the taxpayers but also to the budget. We're not going to have to spend as much money on medication, food, water, and power," Darr said.

District attorney Julia Slater laid out her plan to move simple cases through the system quicker by adding more positions in her office.

"If it makes it into the city council's budget, and that budget is actually approved in June, then we can start hiring in July," Slater said.

The plan would cost more money for the DA's office but it would get rid of some expenses for the jail because more people would be moving through; either to prison or back home.

NAACP organizers are also pushing for the initiative.

They say the long jail times have a great affect on families in Muscogee County.

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