A joint effort between the City Commissioners, the District Court Judges, the Cascade County Sheriffs Office and the Attorney’s Office is looking to find a solution to the current overcrowding situation at the Cascade County Detention Center.
These organizations have been developing a Pre-Trial Supervision Program, using the Montana Supreme Court's Pre-Trial Safety Assessment Tool used during bond setting.
Several issues are currently challenging the detention center, one of those being the food supply for the inmates.
“Right now we are extremely overcrowded and our cooler that has our food is at max capacity to hold all our food because we have to order in way more food to deal with our population,” said Cascade County Sheriff, Jesse Slaughter.
To top all the other issues, Sheriff Slaughter is faced with the question...
“How do we keep our staff safe, with overcrowding and then that directly transitioning into how do we keep the other inmates safe?"
"Often times inmates fight other inmates and if there is too many of them oftentimes overcrowding there's not a lot you can do to protect other inmates, and we do a good job at that, but overcrowding creates tons of problems for our office,” said Sheriff Slaughter.
Now, ironically, one of the reasons the center is overcrowded is because of the good job the different agencies are doing arresting criminals, but with the higher numbers of authorities making arrests -there is still only one place to go.
“I think they are all really aggressive and good law enforcement officers that are out there doing the right thing protecting all of us. The problem is they bring them all here, everybody who gets arrested,” said Slaughter.
As of right now, the detention center is overpopulated by well over 100 inmates and Slaughter says hopefully this new plan can find a way to bring the number down.
A public meeting will be held this Friday at 10:30 am at the civic center commissions chambers, to discuss this new plan to fix overcrowding.