East Tennessee jails have grabbed plenty of headlines in the region lately.

From the recent inmate escape in Grainger County to the push for a safety center in Knox County, their impact on East Tennessee communities have taken center stage. But, one of the biggest issues remains somewhat hidden to the public eye: jail overcrowding.

Once a month, the state keeps numbers on how many inmates are in the counties' jails. Its most recent data, on September 30, showed almost half of the counties' jails in Tennessee were overcrowded.

Seventeen of those jails were right here in East Tennessee.

Read more from our news partner WBIR.