Harmon said 22 inmates had to sleep on the floor over the weekend, but most were provided with two mats and some chose to sleep there voluntarily, rather than occupy a top bunk bed.
Putting inmates on the floor is not unconstitutional, he said. In the past, some inmates have had to sleep on the floor with only sheets, before the county had enough mats to accommodate times when the inmate population surged unexpectedly.
Boyle County Attorney Richard Campbell said weekend arrests involved a variety of crimes, including domestic violence, assault, driving under the influence and others. There was not a big drug bust or other situation that could help explain the high number of arrests over the weekend, he said.
"It was just a surge of people. All of the agencies were busy," Harmon said.
Decrease in Class D state inmates
The overcrowding occurred in the secure portion of the jail, where local inmates and higher risk inmates from the state are kept. There were 22 empty beds in the unsecured part of the jail, where the state's Class D prisoners and other low-risk prisoners are lodged.
The recent drop in state Class D inmates raised some concerns, since the county is reimbursed $30.50 a day for those inmates but is responsible for the cost of housing Mercer and Boyle prisoners.
"Paying customers are decreasing and those who don't pay are increasing," said Judge-Executive Tony Wilder.
The decrease in Class D state inmates, which are eligible to perform work for local non-profit agencies, also means not as many work crews are available for community jobs. Spring cleaning was put on hold because not enough eligible inmates were available.