Brazos County Jail Opens Up Extra Space Due To Growing Inmate Population

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BRYAN - The population is booming at the Brazos County Jail.

Over the weekend, the jail had to open a backup dorm to make room for the influx of inmates.

More inmates means the need for more jailers.

The Brazos County Jail is nowhere near capacity, but the Sheriff's Office is dealing with a near record number of inmates.

667 inmates spent the weekend behind bars.

But right now, the Sheriff's Office only has enough staff to cover 620 inmates

"We're under staffed right now. We've lost some people to the oil field. We've had some others that have moved on to other careers, so we're down about 10 people. Those posts have to be staffed by overtime," said Sheriff Chirs Kirk of Brazos County.

Kirk got his start in law enforcement as a jailer here in 1980.

"It was a different environment then a big weekend for us would be 25 inmates," he said.

Sheriff Kirk says while they don't exactly know why the inmate population is growing he says it's most likely because our areas population is getting bigger.

"What we see is that our incarceration rate is about 3.2 to 3.4 per thousand people in the county and so when the population increases within our county we're going to see the population of the jail increase," he explained.

Each dorm is staffed by a jailer 24-7 who is locked inside the room with the inmates

"So they are easier to manage in our case, but it still takes somebody with a heart for the job and somebody that can manage people to be able to work in that environment," he said,

Those inmates in the larger dorms are also screened to make sure they have better behavior to be in there.

More jailers needed to manage more and more inmates.

Jailer salaries start at just under $33,000 a year.

The detention center has a capacity of 1,088 inmates.