The change, in partnership with County Courts and Community Justice, replaces their old “Matrix” system with a new method for processing inmates.
Instead of packing every bed and releasing those who committed the least serious crime once capacity is reached, this new system combines severity of the charges with past criminal history to identify those who represent the lowest risk to society.
“Failure to appears, violent crimes, crimes involving weapons – those things are taken into consideration now where before they weren’t,” said Jackson County Jail Commander Lt. Dan Penland.
Under the new system an inmate’s community ties are considered to determine who is most likely to meet their court date.
Penland says if they can figure out who is the least risk, they can let those people go regardless of whether or not they’re at capacity, saving space for those who are the most dangerous.
In the two months or so the system has been in place, the jail has been able to keep an average of 2-3 beds open on week nights, a $70-80 savings per night.