Sam Penrod ReportingThere's no room in the jail in Utah County, and that's making it tough for police. The jail is being forced to release some inmates and simply turn others away.
It's not the way the Utah County Sheriff likes it, but really he has no other choice. He's having to give some criminals a break, but not to worry, the serious offenders are still behind bars.
The Utah County jail is relatively new; what's known as the new jail opened back in 1997. But despite planning for the future, already the jail is at capacity. Any given day about 40 to 50 people are booked into jail. There is room for 585 inmates and in recent days that number has been as high as 620, prompting the sheriff to take a closer look at inmates and find ones eligible for release.
But that is just a short term fix and a permanent solution is needed. That could include adding onto the jail, but that option will take at least a couple of years to bring any relief.
In the meantime, the sheriff is also looking at the option of electronic monitoring and home confinement, along with asking judges to not sentence people convicted of misdemeanors to actual time in jail.