Maricopa County, Az., has jailed 16,000 offenders this year but has rejected another 1,453 prospective inmates, a majority for medical reasons, reports the Arizona Republic. That causes headaches for city courts, which must come up with ways for offenders to carry out their sentences. Peoria, Az., City Attorney Steve Kemp said home detention with tracking devices could provide “greater accountability over defendants’ whereabouts” than happens when they are turned away from jail.
Some of those rejected get a later date to surrender. Aaron Carreon-Ainsa, Phoenix’s top prosecutor, said in his early days as an attorney, he was surprised when the judge would ask those convicted of such charges as DUI when they would want to surrender to jail. County medical staff determines “whether a person is not physically worthy of jail, because once in, they become our liability,” said county sheriff’s spokesman Brian Lee said. More-serious criminals are incarcerated despite medical conditions.