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Commissioners address jail overcrowding

By Scott Harvey

Hopkins County – County Commissioners are continuing to work toward combating the problem of overcrowding in the Hopkins County Jail.

The Hopkins County Commissioners Court met Monday to discuss the issue, which has become a growing concern for the past several months.

The jail was built to accommodate 100 prisoners, but at one point recently had more than 140, and in the past 2 months has held double digit numbers only three times. Currently, 117 inmates are housed in the facility. In addition to overcrowding, the building has struggled to meet state jail standards.

On Monday, Commissioners gave authorization to the Hunt County Sheriff to make necessary expenditures to bring jail equipment up to par to meet those standards. Commissioners also Monday discussed the possibility of housing some inmates in jails in Titus and Franklins Counties by entering into an interlocal agreement with them.

According to Hopkins County Judge Cletus Millsap, 13 prisoners are scheduled to be moved this week. Millsap hopes by the end of next week the jail can be back under 100 inmates and be in compliance in terms of capacity.

The County will continue to work with county judges and district attorneys to get prisoners brought before courts to get cases moving forward to help reduce jail population.