The more than 400 new beds that opened at the Fresno County Jail this month filled up in just 10 days, once again leaving the jail at full capacity and inmates being released early.
The speed at which the extra space was filled is an indication of the uphill battle that public-safety leaders face trying to lock up criminals.
While jail capacity has increased by nearly 50% over the past year to 2,859 slots, inmates continue to be let go early because of a lack of room -- and lack of money to make more room.
Fresno County supervisors have committed to financing another 432 jail beds, likely at the start of next year, but even then law enforcement leaders wonder whether that will be enough to accommodate the criminal load.
Sheriff Margaret Mims continues to look at contracting space at the county jails. County probation officers have begun offering alternatives to jail, such as GPS monitoring.
"We could never lock everybody up," Chief Probation Officer Linda Penner said. "We just don't have the resources, so we have to have other interventions."