By Scott Harvey
Hopkins County – The Hopkins County Commissioners Court continues to look into possible solutions to overcrowding in the County's jail.
Last week, Commissioners met with officials from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, who gave a presentation on their expectations of the County and its jail. Commissioners now plan to move forward with a strategic plan for the jail, which could include ideas pertaining to expanding the existing one or building a new facility.
They are also planning on requesting a remedial order set by the Commission be removed, which requires the jail to transport prisoners who exceed capacity to jails in other counties. For the past month, Hopkins County has been operating under a significantly smaller population, with an average of between 75 and 85 prisoners. Before that, the jail had been operating close to maximum capacity, or about 100 prisoners.
Hopkins County Judge Cletus Millsap credits the low population to better communication with the district attorney and other county officials in moving prisoner cases forward. Millsap says it will however be tough to keep the population low for long and commissioners need to come to an agreement soon on what should be done concerning the jail.