St. Francois County jail adds tents to house prisoners - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

St. Francois County jail adds tents to house prisoners

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ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

It's an issue a lot of the county jails in the heartland have. What should be done with the issue of overcrowding?

St. Francois County Sheriff Daniel Bullock is taking an interesting approach. He is moving the weekend prisoners from the inside outside.

"We are not running a country club and we jokingly say around the county that is the Daniel Bullocks Bed and Breakfast," Sheriff Bullock said.

That way at least for right now includes tents. Sheriff Daniel Bullock says he got the idea from Arizona, where some call the jail a "tent city"

In St. Francois county, Sheriff Bullock says it's just for weekend prisoners who come to jail Friday and head out on Sunday.

"We figured they could stay in the tent over the weekend because we have soldiers in Afghanistan staying tents and it's a 120 degrees outside over there," Sheriff Bullock said. "So it won't hurt them to stay in a tent for 48 hours."

Sheriff Bullock says the reason for the tents is simply a numbers game. This jail was built for 180 inmates. Last weekend, they had 291.

"This last weekend was I guess what you could call our pilot program," Sheriff Bullock said. "It went very well. we will probably continue this, maybe even add more tents."

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