by Elliott Davis (KTVI)
BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) – The You Paid For It team looks into the serious problem of overcrowding at metro jails.
Sheriff Richard Watson allowed Investigator Elliott Davis inside the St Clair County Jail where overcrowding is a major problem.
The capacity is 418 but there are often well over 500 inmates in the facility.
Things are so tight extra mattresses are put on the floor of cell blocks for inmates to sleep on. The Gym has been converted into sleeping quarters with mattresses on the floor.
The Sheriff worries about a judge stepping in and setting a hard limit on the number of people the jail can keep. He says if that happens he’ll have to start releasing people.
Voter turned down a tax measure to expand the jail.
A leader of the citizens group opposing it says the jail cost $37 million, but the tax measure officials put on the ballot would have raised up to $120 million.
St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern who supported the Jail Tax defended the proposal as not being excessive.
Madison County’s $18.8 million dollar proposal to make improvements to its jail also went down to defeat.
You Paid For It interviewed St Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch about the trials St Louis County Officials had try to get the money to build the Buzz Westfall Justice Center.
Officials elsewhere may want to keep in mind some of what McCulloch had to say.