Today, Senior District Court Judge Michael McSpadden shared his thoughts with Senator John Whitmire regarding jail overcrowding.
While we do not always agree on each issue, we applaud Judge McSpadden for his efforts in pushing for reduction in low-level drug offenses which would clearly have a major impact on our local jail overcrowding. Rather than shipping inmates out of county for holding, pending court (meaning they have not been convicted of anything), had the legislature reduced the “trace” cocaine cases to misdemeanor class C offenses, a substantial portion of those awaiting trial would be released so that courts, law enforcement, and prosecutors could focus on more serious offenses and more violent offenders. Additionally, barring a legislative change, elected District Attorney Devon Anderson could exercise her prosecutorial discretion to serve the same purpose.
Jail overcrowding is a problem. It must be fixed. Shipping inmates around the state for housing is not the answer.
Thanks to Judge McSpadden for at least attacking the problem and offering viable solutions. Read Judge McSpadden’s correspondence here: