COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - It appears Branch County is possibly headed toward the early release of a number of jail inmates next week. That would happen with a jail overcrowding emergency declaration issued by the Circuit Court, which normally acts when the population of the lockup exceeds its rated capacity for seven straight days.
Sheriff John Pollack indicated Thursday it seems probable after a dozen more people were booked into the lockup Wednesday, bringing the inmate population to 153. Yesterday, it dipped a bit to 147, but that makes it six straight days the number of prisoners surpassed the capacity, which is 142. Once the 7 day limit is exceeded, the court has 3 days to consider the matter. A declaration requires the population to be reduced to 90% of the rated capacity. The last time prisoners had their sentences reduced in Branch County with an overcrowding situation was in 2010 when 15 non-violent, misdemeanor offenders were granted early release.