COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Branch County Corrections officers say 13 inmates were given an early release yesterday from their misdemeanor sentences because of an overcrowding emergency at the jail. Additional prisoners are expected to be released today to get the jail population down to 90 percent of the rated capacity of the lockup. The capacity is 142. The last time there was an overcrowding emergency at the jail was back in 2010.
The Circuit Court orders the sentence reductions when the jail is overcrowded beyond capacity for seven straight days. The prisoner population has consistently been in the 140-to-150 range for most of the summer, reaching a peak of 158 one day last week.