Austin plans to open sobriety center to curb jail overcrowding

The City of Austin is teaming up with Travis County  to curb jail overcrowding. The plan is to create a sobriety center to house people for public intoxication instead of sending them to jail or an emergency room. The facility will be at the Travis County Medical Examiner's officer on 12th Street, which will be vacated later this year.

Initial planning for the center includes 40 beds for intoxicated people to sleep it off, so to speak. There will also be medical personnel on hand in case of emergencies and for screenings to help determine if someone needs treatment.

Joining us now to discuss the need for a sobriety center is Austin Mayor Pro-Tem Kathie Tovo.