COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - About 3 dozen female inmates at the Branch County jail have a little more wiggle room today while it’s just the opposite for some of the male prisoners in the county jail. The facility which was designed to hold up to 12 women behind bars has on a number of occasions in recent years had a female population of twice that many. However, for much of this month, the average number has been closer to 35 with double bunking and some of the women sleeping on the floor.
Branch County Sheriff John Pollack this week took steps he says will provide a measure of relief for the female inmates, at least over the short term. Pollack told County Commissioner on Thursday that they have been moved out of the cell unit for women and transferred to the minimum security area of the jail. Other inmates have been relocated to maximum security cells or the male prisoners have shifted into where the women had been held.
Pollack said a few extra female prisoners is one thing but when it doubles or triples, it’s not humane and he hopes the changes will mean an improvement in the situation until other solutions can be explored.