Sarasota County Jail Nearly At Capacity

There’s a warning coming from Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight to county commissioners- the jail is almost at capacity. Knight said that means the county will have to make a decision- build a new jail or reduce the number of inmates. The jail was built back in 1975 to hold just over 1,000 beds. Right now, 930 of them are filled. Knight estimates that the jail could run out of room altogether as soon as 12 months from now. Although crime rates in Sarasota County are down, the jail population is increasing due to the number of minor crimes being committed, largely by drug addicts. Those people largely only stay between 3 and 8 weeks, but it’s becoming a bit of a revolving door. Sheriff Knight estimates that building a new jail would cost taxpayers $80 million. He’s in support of instead creating diversion recovery programs for addicts.

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