Jail sees uptick in population in recent months; County unlikely to hire additional jailers soon

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mower County’s jail population has ticked up in recent months, but it’s unlikely the county will hire new jailers anytime soon.

The county board has watched jail populations at the Mower County Jail and Justice Center closely in recent months. The jail can operate as is at up to 87 inmates, but the county hits problems at 88. If the jail population consistently hits 88 inmates, the county would need to contact the Department of Corrections and either board out anyone over 87 or possibly hire five new jailers.

On Monday, there were 87 total inmates, 13 of them females.

Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi to the Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children last week.


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“We don’t have a decrease in jail population as some counties do,” Sheriff Terese Amazi told the board.

August saw an average jail population of 73 inmates with 8 females, September saw an average of 77 with 8 females and October has seen an average of 80 with 11 females.

“Our jail population is obviously going up,” Amazi said.

Most of the arrests come from the Austin Police Department, and Amazi assured the board the arrests are not coming from petty charges, like marijuana arrests.

If the jail population consistently surpassed 87 inmates, Commissioner Jerry Reinartz, who sits on the finance committee, said the board would likely opt to board additional inmates at other jails until it became more cost effective to hire additional jailers.

Reinartz also noted Mower would have room to board female inmates from other counties, though the local female jail population is also growing.

The county would likely board inmates who’d already been sentenced to save on travel expenses to and from hearings.

Current staffing levels call for up to 31.5 jailers.