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Counties should reduce jail populations, according to state Supreme Court chief justice

Flickr User Jack Amick

The state Supreme Court’s chief justice said counties should accelerate their efforts to reduce their jail populations.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack said inmates constantly moving in and out of county jail cells pose a risk to other inmates, guards, and to the public at large.

A task force released a set of recommendations in January on ways to reduce the number of inmates held by counties. The motivation then was fairness and reducing costs as jail populations spiraled, said McCormack.

“Yeah, these would have been good ideas in non-pandemic times.”

The recommendations include finding alternatives to jail for failure to pay fines and other offenses that don’t threaten public safety.