There is a possible solution to stop the early release of inmates at the Fresno County Jail.
Fresno County Supervisors passed an initiative Tuesday that allows them to place prisoners in other jails across the state, but other counties first have to agree to house them.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims has slowly been opening floors at the jail, but on Tuesday, the sheriff and the county agreed that more needs to be done to stop the early releases.
In the last two years, Fresno County has released thousands of inmates early because of overcrowding. The Board of Supervisors wants to slow that trend and keep inmates longer.
By a vote of 4-1 on Tuesday, supervisors moved forward on a plan to ask other California counties for help.
County Supervisor Henry Perea said, "This is another tool the state has given us to avoid prisoner release in our county."
Supervisor Perea says Sheriff Margaret Mims' opinion is key to making it happen. She agreed with the board that there just aren't enough local beds to hold prisoners and it's time to seek outside help.
Sheriff Mims said, "The concept is, and it was signed into law with trailer bill language by the governor, that counties can enter into contracts with other counties anywhere in the State of California to house local inmates."
Supervisors will begin asking 58 counties across the state to house Valley inmates. The problem is - it comes down to money. "That's going to be the nature of agreement and discussion over next few months. Every jail is going to have a different cost, because when you think about it, every jail has sentenced prisoners and pre sentenced prisoners, said Supervisor Perea.
No word on how much the plan will cost or who will pay for it.
The board will revisit the issue in January.