MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – The Riley County Jail is seeing an influx of inmates as the jail’s average daily population recently hit a 10 year high.
In January, the Riley County Jail saw an average daily population of 100 inmates. That is the highest population since 2012 and more than 30% higher than the population in January 2021.
Jason Deehr is a Corrections Lieutenant at the Riley County Jail. He said police are not arresting more people, but the ones they are arresting are staying longer than they were before the pandemic.
“Court was paused for a significant amount of time,” Deehr said. “Especially for jury trials due to being able to socially distance, having the juries in the courtrooms themselves and so with the backlog of cases, now they are starting to clear up and get back moving again.”
Deehr said inmates are also not being released to hospitals and other community programs at the same rate they were before the pandemic.
The Riley County Jail is also struggling with low staffing. Deehr said they switched to 12-hour shifts last year to deal with the shortage, which is harder on staff. He said they need to hire at least eight more people before they can switch back to eight-hour shifts.