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Benton Co. Jail Facing Overcrowding Issues

Deputies are now citing and releasing nonviolent misdemeanor offenders.
BENTONVILLE, AR -- Overcrowding at the Benton County Jail is forcing the sheriff's office to get creative, even putting some inmates back on the streets.

Nearly 600 inmates are serving time in Benton County right now, and one-third of them are convicted criminals waiting to be transferred to prisons down south.

Now deputies with the Benton County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) are citing and releasing nonviolent misdemeanor offenders.

BCSO is working with district courts to find alternatives to jail time.

"The jails aren't overcrowded because we don't have enough deputies to man them, the core problem is these inmates keep re-offending." says Deputy Keisha Guy.  

Deputies plan to start using public service, unsupervised probation or ankle monitors for nonviolent crimes instead of incarceration, but say they're still working on the details.
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