McLean County looks to end jail overcrowding

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) -- McLean County State's Attorney Bill Yoder says finding a solution to chronic jail overcrowding could save county taxpayers more than $500,000 a year.

Yoder said so far this year the county has spent $450,000 to house inmates in other counties. He told a public forum Wednesday that if jail overcrowding continues, the expense could total $600,000 by the end of the year.

The prosecutor said the increase of daily jail population to more than 270 inmates does not follow a specific trend. He said many pretrial detainees should be kept behind bars while awaiting trial because they are dangerous.

Eleventh Circuit Chief Judge Elizabeth Robb told the forum of the alternative jail programs that have reduced the number of people sent to jail. She said county officials also are considering electronic monitoring of suspects awaiting trial.

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