RICHMOND, Va. — A central Virginia county has cut a deal with a neighbor to relieve jail overcrowding stemming from a rapid increase in female inmates.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/2goms4M ) that Henrico County in suburban Richmond will pay neighboring Chesterfield County $750,000 to house about 50 of its female inmates.

Henrico County Sheriff Mike Wade said the county’s female population has exploded in the last year. Opioid abuse and sex trafficking have fueled the increase.

The average number of female inmates in Henrico rose from 124 last year to 268 this year. Henrico County has 239 beds dedicated to women in its two facilities.

One county supervisor says the problem is that prosecutors and judges are using the jail as a de facto social service center and rehab facility.


Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com