HUNTSVILLE The new Walker County Jail will have the ability to house more inmates, but until it is completed next spring, county officials have to deal with the old facility’s crowding problems.
The Commissioners Court on Tuesday helped address the issue by giving Sheriff Clint McRae the go ahead to sign an interlocal agreement for jail services with San Jacinto County. Walker County has a similar deal with Houston County, but Houston County’s jail is sometimes at full capacity and does not have enough beds to take on additional inmates.
“Houston County does an excellent job, and we do not want to depart from using their services,” McRae told the court Tuesday morning. “But we need a secondary location to house inmates, and San Jacinto County is willing to help out.”
Walker County will only pay San Jacinto County to house inmates and feed them three meals per day. Walker County will continue to pay for major medical services and for transportation to and from San Jacinto County.
“We got overcrowded about a week ago and didn’t have any female beds,” said Capt. Steve Fisher, jail administrator. “We try to do everything we can to solve the problem without having to house inmates other places, but sometimes we have to.”
McRae said that the county will only need to have these agreements with Houston and San Jacinto counties until the new Walker County Jail is finished, which is expected to be in either March or April 2014.
“By sending our overcrowded inmates to other facilities, they might do the same for us when our new jail is completed,” the sheriff said. “This is something that benefits everyone.”