Criminal code revisions may swell county jails

The first major revision in the state's criminal code in nearly 40 years takes effect Tuesday and the outcome of those changes concerns local officials.

The changes could eventually swell the population of the 178-bed Jackson County Jail, which is already faced with as many as 100 prisoners beyond its capacity, Sheriff Michael Carothers said.

There were 226 inmates in the jail Wednesday.

The criminal code revisions, which include creating six classes of felonies from the present four, are designed to free up bed space in state prisons, most likely at the expense of county jails.

"We're going to try to leave as many beds open in our (state) prisons as possible," said Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford.

For the full story, see Saturday's edition of The Tribune and watch for an update.

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