Inmates with lesser offenses – such as for DWI and family fights – will be able to bond out more easily from Brown County Jail under a just-announced, Sheriff Bobby Grubbs-led initiative.
Grubbs said the county’s Indigent Defense Program is aimed at helping address overcrowding at the jail facility.
According to Grubbs, offenses such as DWI and family fighting tend to drive the jail count up. Guidelines have been developed to determine inmates who qualify for the program.
"If we can lower the count, it makes our job a little easier,” Grubbs said. “The less people that are back there, the less our staff has to deal with.”
When the jail goes over capacity, Grubbs said he has to send inmates to jails in other counties, which can prove to be costly.
"It's like a checks and balances system," Brown County Jail Administrator Becky Caffey said. "I think it's a good program. I think it's going to speed up the court process. It's going to, probably in turn, get some inmates out of our jail, which is starting to become overcrowded, and I just think it's also going to make sure that all inmates are getting a proper defense."
Caffey said the program will ensure that inmates get a court-appointed attorney in a timely manner and that no one slips through the cracks.
The jail capacity is 196. The jail count stood at 180 inmates as of Wednesday morning. Grubbs said the jail goes through highs and lows in terms of inmate turnouts, but the recent overcrowding started to become a problem this past January.