Walker County Jail Space Problems

By: Amanda O'Neal
By: Amanda O'Neal

Like many others across the state, Walker County's jail is overcrowded. The jail staff is constantly shuffling inmates around and officials say they're running out of options.

Walker County’s jail is not up to current standards. That's according to a needs analysis by the Texas Commission on Jail standards.

" We try to do the best we can with what we have," said Jail Administrator, Captain Steve Fisher.

Fisher and his staff are running out of ideas on how to handle the over crowding problem. The jail was built in 1982 with an addition in 1994. It has 162 beds but has been over capacity several times in the last year.

One of the problems is an increase in female inmates. There's now an average of 15 to 25 a day. The staff must also follow a classification system when grouping inmates in a cell.

" The jail staff is really trying to be creative and all to go by the law and make special arrangements," said Fisher.

" I think we have to build a new jail," said Walker County District Attorney David Weeks.

Weeks is concerned about the early release and bond reduction of some inmates because of overcrowding.

" There are people that are getting time served sentences that I really don't feel comfortable with at all and I don't think the people should, but we don't have a choice at this point," said Weeks.

Weeks says as a last resort only non-violent or misdemeanor offenders are considered for early release. There could be a solution to the problem soon. After hearing the issues in the jail, County Commissioners decided to create a jail needs committee to find out what it would take to build a new jail.

Until then Captain Fisher and jail officials will have to continue to make do with limited space.

IN other news concerning Walker County's jail. Authorities still don't know how 46- year- old inmate, Rocky Trout died in jail Monday night.

23- year- old Freddy Granville is being questioned in the death, but no charges have been filed. Authorities say there was an altercation in the jail cell the two men were in, but say overcrowding was not a factor.


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