Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott and the Missoula County Commissioners are limiting the number of new inmates processed into the Missoula County Detention Facility.

Public Information Officer Brenda Bassett has details.

“In a collaborative effort between the sheriff and the Board of County Commissioners, today they adopted a resolution basically leaving it up to the sheriff’s discretion the booking of certain persons for specified offenses,” said Bassett. “This is an effort to try to bring down the population at the jail a little bit.”

Bassett provided some examples of the new policy.

“If there was somebody that didn’t show up for court for a traffic violation and a warrant was sent out, we’re going to leave it on a case by case basis,” she said. “Those agencies and ultimately the sheriff will decide if they will be booked into the Missoula County Detention Facility.”

Bassett detailed some of the more recent policy changes at the jail.

“We’re starting to take a lot of precautionary measures in and around the jail,” she said. “We’ve shut down visitation for all inmates, and shut down the jail completely to the public. It’s all in an effort to protect the citizens, the inmates and of course, our detention staff who work very closely with the inmates.”

Bassett said county officials are doing everything they can to reduce the risk of more people being exposed to the coronavirus.