NUECES COUNTY (KIII NEWS) - Nueces County Sheriff Jim Kaelin said a special tool he is allowed to use to prevent jail overcrowding was a success during Spring Break.
The tool he speaks of is non-violent deferment, which means non-violent offenders aren't put into the jail.
Kaelin said his 1,000-inmate jail was over capacity when Spring Break began more than a week ago.
"We were at 103-percent of capacity," Kaelin said. "We ended Spring Break at 100-percent of capacity."
Although final arrest numbers are not yet available from the City, police said 54 were arrested this past week for DWI, and 17 of those involved crashes. They were taken to jail along with 82 sent from Port Aransas.
Kaelin said the majority of Spring Breakers seemed to hit the beach in Port Aransas and the overall number of arrests was down.
Despite the more than $2 million jail expansion 10 years ago, Kaelin said he sees this tool being used all the time to keep better control of inmate population, adding that non-violent offenders can often be better handled outside of jail.
Kaelin said it will take a conversation with the DA and police chiefs of Port Aransas, Robstown and Corpus Christi before the non-violent deferment might be used on a regular basis.
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