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Yellowstone County eyes work program for jail

By The Associated Press
Published On: May 12 2013 11:08:00 AM MDT
Generic Jail
BILLINGS, Mont -

Yellowstone County officials are considering creating a work program to ease overcrowding at the jail.
    
The Billings Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/12rE7sZ) that Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder recently presented the idea to Yellowstone County commissioners, the county attorney, public defender and judges.
    
Linder says representatives from the sheriff's department and jail went to Boise, Idaho, to talk with Ada County officials about the work program there. The team has also talked to Gallatin County about its work program.
    
Yellowstone County jail officials say the jail's rated capacity is 297 inmates. In the first four months of 2013 the average daily population was 437. On April 22 the jail held 491 inmates.
    
Officials say overcrowding can increase tensions among inmates and strains staff and services such as food and laundry.