Missouri city stops some offender arrests because jail full

Missouri’s third largest city is unable to serve more than 12,000 outstanding arrest warrants to people accused of crimes such as shoplifting, traffic infractions and misdemeanor assaults because there is no room in the county jail as a result of a dispute between the sheriff and local officials.

The situation is so bad in Springfield, population 165,000, that a local judge told city officials recently that she had one docket of cases with 82 people and only eight bothered to show up.

Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott and municipal officials disagree over use of the county jail. The city thought it had an agreement that the jail would house Springfield offenders. Arnott says he manages the jail and announced last April that the county would no longer take municipal prisoners.

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