Inflation may have remained under control pretty well in 2019, however, the inmate population at both the Guilford County jail in Greensboro and the jail in High Point increased in 2019 compared with the jail populations in 2018.

In 2019, the jail in downtown Greensboro – known as “Jail Central” – had an average daily population of 697, compared to 657 in the previous year. The county’s High Point jail in the year that just closed out held an average of 283 inmates, compared with the previous year’s average of 252.

Even with the increase, the county has plenty of room for new offenders: If all of the housing pods are being used, the maximum occupancy of the Greensboro jail is 1,028 inmates and the rated capacity of the High Point jail is 297.

Guilford County Sheriff’s Department Attorney Jim Secor stated in an email this week that the limit for the Greensboro jail is less without all of the pods open.

“Based on the number of pods currently in use, its maximum occupancy is 892 inmates,” Secor wrote.

So, despite a 6 percent increase in the Greensboro jail’s population and a 10 percent increase in the High Point jail’s population last year, the county still has plenty of space to hold those who commit crimes in 2020.

Before the county built the giant new $92-million 1,000-plus bed jail in Greensboro – which opened in 2012 – a consultant hired by the Sheriff’s Department projected that the county’s jail population by 2020 would be packing the old county jail, the county Prison Farm, the High Point Jail and the giant new jail. But instead of the dramatic increases predicted by the jail experts, the former sheriff and former justice officials, the county’s jail population fell for years and the county shut down the old jail and the Prison Farm (over 600 beds combined) and the county still has a new jail that is only 68 percent full and another that’s under capacity.