Max capacity at one detention center pushes other counties to find places for their inmates

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CODINGTON COUNTY, S.D. The Codington County Regional Detention Center in Watertown is the latest facility in the state to reach "maximum capacity" at 96 inmates, which is also a new record for the jail. Not only does this high number effect the county, it also causes issues for the surrounding counties that contract with the facility.

The jail had to recently implement an inmate population management program where they can't take any inmates from contracting counties. Today, the number sits at 87 inmates in the facility with only six being from other counties.

"At times, they've had to bring their inmates to another facility somewhere to kind of help alleviate some of the stress on our jail," says Brad Howell, the Codington County Sheriff.

The steady rise of inmates around the area brings up the works of the Codington County Justice Advisory Committee - a group studying the need for a new jail.

In 2015, jail evaluator Bill Garnos visited the detention center to do a consulation on all of the jail bookings from the past 20 years. He discovered that the jail should be at 62 inmates instead of the high 80s/low 90s they've been housing for quite some time.

With the increasing numbers, the jail has had to be creative in how they accommodate all of their county inmates. They've put some of their newer inmates on cots to create more room.