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Wed December 10, 2008
Meeting regarding Hopkins County Jail Wednesday
By Scott Harvey
Hopkins County – More discussion is expected Wednesday in Hopkins County regarding possible solutions to overcrowding in the County's jail.
The Hopkins County Commissioners Court will meet with Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards Adan Munoz Wednesday afternoon.
The Commissioners Court is under by the State not to exceed 95% capacity, when in fact that figure has been breached several times. The Hopkins County Jail was built to accommodate 100 prisoners, but has held as many as 143 inmates in recent months.
Last month, the county entered into an interlocal agreement with Franklin and Titus counties that allows for the transportation of county inmates to those facilities when capacity is exceeded.
Commissioners are now exploring options of either building a new facility or adding space to its existing one.
Hopkins County Judge Cletus Millsap says all options are being explored, including the possibility of a privatized jail. The idea is the County would enter into a contract with a private firm, who would then sell bonds to the public who would endure the cost of building and operating the jail. The County would then lease space within the jail.
Judge Millsap says effective communication and hard work on behalf of the Hopkins County district attorney and county judges has helped moved cases along and kept the inmate population lower than it has been in recent months.