Boone County leaders are asking for public input as they continue to address the current inmate population at the county jail.
Retired Boone County Judge Gary Oxenhandler is working on a study of the historical and current population status. Oxenhandler’s study came at the request of the Boone County Commission in response to the increased cost of housing inmates at the jail and other mid-Missouri facilities.
Oxenhandler said the county spent $430,000 to house inmates in other facilities, going $130,000 over budget. He said jail overcrowding is something county leaders have been working on and studying for several years.
“They’re constantly putting pressure on the system, figuring out ways to save money and trying to do our very best of limiting the people we put in jail.”
The Boone County Jail can house up to 187 inmates comfortably, Capt. Keith Hoskins, the jail’s detention director, told ABC 17 News in July 2016.
According to the Boone County Jail’s website, there were 216 inmates being housed in the jail Wednesday. Hoskins said another 30 inmates were being housed at other detention facilities.
“There are a lot of people arrested and a lot of people that cannot afford the bonds that are set or they have no bonds,” he said.
Hoskins said it costs about $41 to house inmates outside of the jail per day. He said he would like to see more alternative detention methods used to help with the overcrowding.
“I do believe that home detention can be expanded to accommodate some the individuals that are currently housed in the detention facility.”
Oxenhandler said he’s hoping to have the report done by mid-April to turn over to the Boone County commission with recommendations on how to address the overcrowding issue.