Too many inmates at the Brazos County Jail forced the Sheriff to go to the state and ask to be able to add more beds than jail standards allow.
The following is a press release from Sheriff Chris Kirk released Friday.
The Brazos County Jail is over-crowded. The average daily jail population has exceeded the jail capacity of 546 inmates almost daily since March, 2006.
The Sheriff's Office, with the support of the Brazos County Judge and County Commissioners, has started the process of designing and preparing for the construction of an addition to the Sandy Point Jail. In the meantime, the Sheriff's Office has been working to identify and implement steps that could be taken to temporarily alleviate the overcrowding situation.
On Thursday, February 1, 2007, Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk, Brazos County Judge Randy Sims and Jail Administrator Wayne Dicky appeared before the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to request a variance on the State's minimum standards so that an additional 48 beds could be added to the jail.
The sheriff requested a variance from minimum jail standards required on square footage per inmate, dormitory capacity, and the ratio of toilets and showers in the affected cells.
Variance From Minimum Standards
Area required reduced by 3 square feet per inmate
Toilet ratio of 1 to 12 inmates
Shower ratio of 1 to 18 inmates
Dormitory size to exceed 24 inmates, with 4 to 10 beds being added to 6 cells
Brazos County received a similar variance in 1999 when faced with overcrowding. The variance was vacated in 2000 when the 145 bed addition was opened.
Other Programs Being Considered To Alleviate Jail Overcrowding are:
Pre-trial Release & Bonding Program
Electronic Monitored Home Confinement Program for inmates sentenced to Work Release
Contacting with other jails to hols Brazos County inmates
The Jail Commission voted unanimously to approve the variance request for a period of one year, at which time the variances could be extended if the Commission believes that sufficient efforts are being taken to permanently resolve jail over-crowding.