PI jail dealing with overcrowding

ROGERS CITY — The Presque Isle County Jail continues to be overcrowded.

Undersheriff Joe Brewbaker discussed the jail status at the Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners meeting Friday.

“We’re at 37 as of today. We still have 11 housed out between two different counties,” he said. “I do want to say with our staff we have a lot of issues going on and our staff are doing a fantastic job, regardless of what you may see or here. People are coming in; the drug addictions right now and mental health problems. With that many numbers you’re going to have problems.”

He said the staff has done a good job to squash issues that have gone on behind the scenes.

“Our numbers are extremely high. January is looking like quite a few releases. We have a lot of court (dates) coming up so I don’t really see any real relief in the near future,” he said.

Brewbaker also said there is a bad drug problem in the county that has contributed to the issue.

Prosecutor Ken Radzibon said the reason there is a higher number of prisoners is because of the number of cases his office plans to prosecute.

“The reason the jail is overcrowded is because we’re not diverting the number of cases my predecessor did,” he said.

Brewbaker also cited this reason why there are high inmate numbers.

Along with the jail discussions the board approved the contracts for public defenders Mike Vogler and James Gilbert.

“I want to say from the prosecution perspective, the attorneys that have been working in the defense, at least since I’ve been in this office since last September, n my opinion work hard for the clients,” Radzibon said. “They’re worthy advocates in the courtroom. There’s some thought they’re not doing their job and that’s why the jail is overcrowded. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They work very hard for their clients.”

Jordan Spence can be reached via email at jspence@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687.