New annex for jail overcrowding, same inmate policies

Local

It’s an issue that has plagued Sedgwick County for years, overcrowding at the jail.

“As of today. our total population is 1,146 total inmates,” says Sheriff Jeff Easter. “The main jail allows for 1,151 inmates.”

The Sedgwick County jail is slammed packed.

Sheriff Easter says they have 286 more inmates than they can hol, but the county has been able to cut that number down, thanks to the recently opened Sedgwick County Jail Annex.

“We currently have 175 people at the jail annex,” he says.

The sheriff says it saves the county and tax payers money. The new annex holds 180 inmates. Rather than having to transfer 286 inmates out of county and pay $35 a day, they now only have to do that for 106 inmates. But one of the inmates in the new annex claims the new facility presented a new issue. The man’s attorney says he wasn’t able to see his client on site immediately, and thus filed a motion to dismiss the case altogether. KSN asked prominent Defense Attorney Dan Monnat if issues like this are a concern.

“We need to be able to see them in time to meaningfully prepare for trial often on a daily basis,” says Monnat.

It may be a new facility, but the sheriff tells KSN the policy’s are the same as the policy’s in the main jail. He says protecting the inmate and their rights is not an issue. 

“We don’t allow the attorneys to go in there because we don’t have just an attorney client booth. If they schedule ahead of time, we will bring them back over to the main facility, and we will have them here for that meeting,” says Sheriff Easter. “Prisoners have every right to put up their own defense, they have every right to meet with an attorney, so we facilitate that.”

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