Polk sheriff: Jail overcrowding $900K problem

- Polk's sheriff is asking county commissioners to ante up another $900,000 in next year's budget to help run the jail.

Sheriff Grady Judd says he has seen an unprecedented hike in the inmate population, and he needs more money to deal with it.

"If this spike continues, we're going to have to open a full-time dorm, staff it 24-hours, 7-days a week, with food, with medications, with everything that it takes," Judd told FOX 13.

Recently, Judd wrote a letter to commissioners explaining the situation and asking for additional money. Right now, commissioners are working through the budget process for the next fiscal year.

"It is about priorities," said Deputy County Manager Joe Hallman, Jr. "The County Commission will have to decide what's a priority."

Judd says the population is up for a couple of reasons.

The number of people violating their probation has jumped up, which means they're going back to jail. He also says the courts are not moving people through the system quickly enough, which means they're staying behind bars longer than they should.

Judd says if the population decreases and he has money left over, he would be happy to give it back to the county. But of course, he has to get it first.

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