Bonham considering divine alternative to jail overcrowding

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BONHAM -- A faith-based correctional institution could soon be making its way to Bonham. It would be the first facility of its kind in the country.

The idea behind the facility is to help inmates about to get out of prison transition back into the real world.

Overcrowding in jails continues to be a problem nationwide. This new facility would help solve that problem while rehabilitating prisoners at the same time.

A company called Corrections Concepts Incorporated presented the city council with plans for a 500-bed, 330-prisoner facility just west of the city.

In addition to the living quarters, the jail would house several types of industry which would allow inmates to work and earn money in order to function outside of prison once they get out.

Officials say that during their stay, prisoners will live under and learn biblical principals to help them stay out of prison.

City officials like the plan because it helps control overcrowding at other jails and because it could boost the local economy.

The cost of the new facility is estimated around $35 million. The city has endorsed but has yet to approve it, pending negotiations with the company on how to pay for the facility.

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