As long as there is space at the jail, inmates won't walk out early. But the Fresno County Sheriff's Office says that extra space could be gone in just two weeks.
The revolving door has stopped at the Fresno County Jail. But the question is, for how long? "We're keeping everyone coming in and we're starting to fill up."
Lieutenant John Copher spoke with KSEE24 over the phone. He's been keeping an eye on space at the jail. On Saturday, the 5th floor of the north building opened adding 432 beds but he says half of them are already filled. And the rest of them could be gone in just two weeks.
"It slows down a little bit during the week. We have some releases but come the next weekend we'll book another 100 a day so it doesn't take long to fill up 432 beds."
At that point the jail will be back to square one. In other words, Copher says the jail will be full and inmates could be released early, based on priority and the level of offense. "It's a little frustrating. We're here to keep the prisoners in until they complete their time or sentenced to prison. It's a little frustrating that we have to release early."
But until that happens, Lieutenant Copher says inmates will stay behind bars and serve their time. Sending a strong message to criminals. "If we keep them, they're gonna stay out of trouble cause they know that."
There is one more empty floor at the jail. The county is hoping to open it by the end of the year.
The Sheriff's Office says those inmates released in the last 72 hours have either served their sentence, or charges were never filed against them.