The Missoula County Detention Center is reducing the number of individuals incarcerated due to the new COVID 19 policies imposed first by the county and now also by the state of Montana.

Missoula County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jeanette Smith said the jail originally complied with the county policy in March.

“On March 18th the sheriff worked with the Board of County Commissioners when they signed resolution number 2020-029, and that made effective immediately that the Missoula County Detention Facility would not accept individuals into the detention center who had been charged but not convicted of non-violent misdemeanor offenses under state laws and/or city ordinances,” said Smith, who then added the newest directive from the governor’s office. “The governor’s directive that just came out this week is related to state correctional and state contracted correctional facilities,” she said. “Currently the jail has a Department of Corrections unit that is called the Missoula Assessment and Sanctions Center.”

Smith said the county detention center staff has worked hard to make sure the jail and the facilities are cleaned and sanitized.

“We have taken those efforts for increased cleaning,” she said. “We’ve stopped transfers to stabilize the population, and all these efforts were to reduce the possibility of spread of positive cases and keep folks health and safe.”

Smith did not have an exact current number of individuals currently incarcerated in the Missoula County Detention Center.