Statement from Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway:
The City of Birmingham notified me that they were in a desperate situation concerning the jail and were going to seek approval to begin using the Jefferson County 10th Judicial Court system for their misdemeanor arrests. This action requires that warrants be obtained via magistrates in the 10th Judicial Circuit and cases be heard by District Court Judges in the 10th Judicial Circuit.
We established an MOU to outline the process and highlight some operational differences of the County jail. Jefferson County utilizes a recognizance bond and a signature bond process that allows individuals to be signed out or released on their own recognizance (bonds up to $15,000.00).
This is not a long-term solution and is undoubtedly a burden on the county, but this is a desperate situation. I am hopeful that Birmingham can resolve their issues quickly and get onto better footing. Birmingham is an important partner in the fight to improve public safety in Jefferson County.