Federal officials in the Las Vegas Valley say the area needs a federal detention center to ease crowding at local jails, reports the Las Vegas Sun. “It makes sense because of the growth of Southern Nevada,” said Philip Pro, Chief U.S. District Court Judge for Nevada. “We really have a cultural lag with jail space. It’s kind of like having cars with no roads.” There are 12 Metropolitan Detention Center nationwide.
On a typical day in Las Vegas the U.S. Marshals and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are holding more than 600 federal defendants and detainees. The federal prisoners are kept at the North Las Vegas Detention Center and the Las Vegas City Jail at a cost of $72 a day per inmate. Those prisoners are taking up space that could be used to help police offset the overcrowding at the Clark County Detention Center. Over the last decade in Nevada the Marshal’s Service has gone from holding about 150 prisoners per day to more than 500. A proliferation of joint federal and local task forces, such as Safe Streets, an FBI program that targets violent gang activity, have increased the number of federal prosecutions.