COLDWATER (WTVB) - For the second time in less than a month, Branch County has just barely avoided the likely early release of prisoners from the county jail. On most days since the middle of June, the jail has had more inmates than its rated capacity of 142. When that happens for seven straight days, the Circuit Court is notified and on most occasions, three days later the Court declares an overcrowding emergency and orders the jail population be reduced to 90% of the rated capacity.
The inmate count at the lockup at the end of the day on Friday June 21st was 141. That ended six straight days during which the prisoner population exceeded the capacity of the jail. The same thing happened this week. Starting a week ago today, the inmate number was over 142 through Thursday, when it was 146. However, at the end of the day yesterday, when there were six people booked at the jail, enough prisoners were released so the population was reduced to 141. The last time prisoners had their sentences reduced in Branch County with an overcrowding situation was in 2010.