HANCOCK COUNTY (WTOL) - Hancock County officials have begun the process of finding a Solution to their county jail overcrowding problem.

Earlier this week, the Hancock County Commissioners and Sheriff Heldman met with a representative of the Bureau of Adult probation.

The meeting was to lay out the established guidelines for detention centers of varying levels. This is because after initiating their quarter percent income tax, the county now has a revenue stream to eventually pay for either expanding their current or building a brand new jail.

But this is a long process and the next step is to have a third party come in and provide a free “Needs Assessment” to set benchmarks for whatever the county could improve on.

Then that assessment will be used to begin the design process.

“From the court standpoint, there’s a determination of detaining the people. And then the Sheriff is responsible for running our justice center. So, there’s really a lot of components in the criminal justice system, and we have to make sure the infrastructure is there to support both the law enforcement and the court system as a whole,” said Brian Robertson, Hancock County Commissioner.

The next step in this process, that free needs assessment from the National Institute of Corrections will be taking place sometime next year.