BILLINGS- The Yellowstone County Detention Facility hosted an Open House Tuesday to show off the recently constructed Women’s Unit at the Detention Facility.
County officials said after years of overcrowding, the jail now has much needed extra space.
"Right now we have some people that we are not putting in jail that probably should be put in jail. Just basically because of the space. When we get up close to 500 in the existing 286-bed jail, there are some people that we have to turn around," said Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder.
The new addition is designed to hold 148 people, from state to federal inmates. The expansion will allow women to be classified and housed in either maximum, medium or low security units.
"When I was working patrol, and then when I was eventually assigned to the Marshal’s task force, I was coming in here every day. Into the existing unit every day and I just saw people in the intake units and the booking area and stuff just how busy it was and how crowded it was," Linder said. "Sometimes the look on the staff’s face- ‘oh you’re bringing in another one’ and, ‘where were we going to put them?’ Especially the women, because we were seeing more and more of that."