PLATTE CITY, Mo. — The Platte County Sheriff said overcrowding forced him to make changes.

Sheriff Mark Owen said he’s been forced to transfer inmates to nearby jails.

“When the population in the detention center is between 220-230 inmates it pushes our staff and facility resources too far,” Owen said.  “We cannot safely keep this many inmates at a time in our jail.”

The sheriff’s office said it transferred inmates to the Clay County Detention Center in March. In April, more inmates have been transferred to the Buchanan County jail. As of April 12, the county is paying other jails to house 14 inmates.

“In many of our cells, we have inmates sleeping on the floor in temporary beds.  Trying to keep too many people in the jail will lead to more disciplinary problems,” Owen said.   

The office said this is the first time it has had to move inmates to other counties because of overcrowding.

“Moving our inmates to other jails is only a short-term solution,” Owen said. “This problem will likely get worse as we come into summer when we traditionally have more inmates.”

Sheriff Owen said the current Platte County Detention Center was built in 1998 and was designed to house 154 inmates. An additional 26 beds were added to the jail in 2015. Owen said he can’t add additional beds and still have the same level of security at the facility.

The sheriff met with the Platte County Prosecutor and County Commissioners about his concerns on April 2.