Greene County says the city of Springfield has not responded to its request for assistance with inmate overcrowding at the Greene County jail. Commissioner Bob Cirtin says Springfield’s rising crime rate has forced the need for a temporary solution. The county recently made a proposal to the city for a temporary jail facility.
“That would allow us to once again house municipal offenders and inmates and support the Springfield Police Department,” says Cirtin. “At this time we have not received any communication from the Springfield City Council.”
Cirtin says he’s heard city officials say they don’t have the $3 million the county wants for a temporary solution but he says the county will work out a payment plan with the city. Cirtin and Sheriff Jim Arnott say the city needs to be more involved, saying most of the inmates are offenders from the city.
Both sides say crime within the city limits has jumped 10% in the first quarter of this year alone. That means inmates arrested by the city outnumber county inmates by more than 3-to-1.
Cirtin said that although most of the inmates are city offenders, the taxes people pay don’t reflect that. As for tax money that goes to fund the jail, Cirtin says, “Springfield residents pay $14.47 per person, per year. A resident of the unincorporated area of the county pays about $34.66 per year, person.”
John Thomas of KTTS contributed to this story.