RIVERTON (WNE) — The Fremont County Sheriff's Office is in talks with the county's maintenance supervisor about adding top bunks to single beds in the Fremont County Detention Center to combat jail overcrowding.

"We're looking at getting a local welder to fabricate, to acceptable standards, beds to go on top of single beds," said Fremont County Sheriff Ryan Lee at a Jan. 14 meeting of the Fremont County Commission. He said Wyoming Honor Farm warden Michael Harlow is interested in mobilizing honor farm inmates to paint and help prepare the beds.

Compounding beds is the first long-term solution to emerge in what the sheriff has identified as the dire problem of jail crowding in the Lander facility, which holds 160 inmates ideally but has peaked above 200 multiple times since the dawn of 2020.

To develop more solutions, Lee and staff are compiling statistical data of the past 15 years, to identify causes behind the large influx of inmates in Fremont County.

"Generally this is our slow time of year, and we're way over, as of this morning," said Lee.

Fremont County Commission Chairman Travis Becker was concerned with the ratio of pre-adjudicated inmates versus sentenced inmates in the jail: 30 inmates are fulfilling post-conviction sentences; 179 of the Jan. 14 total were waiting to be sentenced or waiting for future court dates.

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