Jail Overcrowding Issue of New Study

12-9-05 - With 382 beds for an average of 460 inmates, Grayson County law enforcers didn't need a report to tell them that space is a problem here.

Corrections consultant Curtiss Pulitzer presented the findings of final report to the 50 members of the justice advisory committee meeting.

Sheriff Keith Gary says the shortage of room has been a growing problem for at least five years.

The Texas Jail Commission, which sets regulations for county jails, ordered Grayson to make some changes last fall. So an advisory panel formed, and they called in the consultants. Some of those recommendations to improve efficiency include developing a program for mentally ill inmates, and forming a drug court.

While acting on the recommendations will help to comply with Texas state mandates, officials agree that a new facility or at least expansions for maximum security beds will have to be built.

Pulitzer's firm poured over 32,000 inmate records in the study. It cost $90,000. The sheriff says even if commissioners approved a new jail, doors wouldn't open for at least three years.