Alabama's Jail Backlog Creeps Up

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The number of state inmates being housed
in county jails longer than a court-approved 30-day limit has been
slowly creeping up two years after a backlog was eliminated.

But some say the recent uptick isn't yet cause for concern.

Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett said
there were 65 state inmates on the list Tuesday and that the department's main problem is a lack of prison space.

Sonny Brasfield, who is assistant executive director for the Alabama Association of County Commissions, said the corrections department deserves a bit of leeway.

The association first sued the prison system over the issue in 1992 and the lawsuit is still open, though inactive.

He said county officials will be keeping a close eye on the situation in case the increases become a trend.

The backlog once soared to 2,800 and its most recent peak was 1,600 in 2003.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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