Dane County Jail Plans To Reduce Beds By Nearly 10 Percent

County Officials Seek To Focus On Alternatives To Incarceration

BobbbyLight (CC-BY)

The Dane County Jail is reducing the number of beds in its facility, and the move has some local officials expressing reservations.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the jail will get rid of 91 beds over the next three years after a county board vote that approved the reduction. That translates to a 9 percent reduction.

The county is embarking on an effort to reduce the number of people incarcerated and relying on a series of new programs outside of the sheriff’s office to do it.

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Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said he is concerned about the decrease, adding that the department will have to rely on the courts to find programs for people that would otherwise face convictions.

The number of inmates in the jail has not changed much over the last seven years. And compared to 13 years ago, the population has gone down by about 28 percent.

Dane County recently approved $76 million in borrowing to fund a renovation of the jail meant to make it safer for inmates with mental health problems.