LUBBOCK, TX—Monday morning the Lubbock County Commissioners Court voted in favor of allowing inmates from Yoakum County jail to come to Lubbock if they experience an overflow.
Currently, Lubbock County has a contract with several nearby counties to do the same. Lubbock County Commissioner for Precinct 4, Patti Jones, said this agreement is established for a variety of reasons.
“Most of the counties that we have contracted with in the past, may have issues with someone--may have overcrowding because they are very limited on their space,” Jones said. “Or the fact that they have someone that may need medical attention, that's going to have to go to University Medical Center or something like that."
In July 2010, the new Lubbock County jail was opened. This one has the capacity to hold 1512 inmates, more than double the amount the previous jail housed.
When surrounding counties experience overcrowding in their jails, they send inmates to Lubbock. “They are paying us for the transportation, or they are providing the transportation,” Jones said. “The other counties are paying us so much to house their inmates, so it’s not a cost to the county since we are recouping that money.”
Before the new jail, Lubbock paid other counties up to 3 million dollars a year to house their overflow of inmates.