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Branch County Jail overcrowding becoming a problem again


COLDWATER,  MI (WTVB) - A beefed up State Police presence at the Coldwater Post also means more people are being arrested even though it comes at a time when the Branch County Sheriff’s Department has operated since the first of the year with 75% of its road patrol deputies laid off because of county budget cuts. The Branch County jail started today with 143 inmates behind bars in a lockup rated to hold 139 prisoners. A dozen people, all males, were booked in to the jail on Tuesday. The inmate population also included 31 females, two-and-a-half times more than the former medical care facility was redesigned to accompany. County Commissioners are continuing to nurse along the county jail, making needed repairs and selected improvements with the projects being paid for with a voter approved jail maintenance millage. Plans to address the female overcrowding problem are still under discussion.

The County Commission held the first of its two April meetings yesterday but it was a very short session lasting only around 15 minutes with a number of routine items and committee reports on the agenda.