Weatherford Democrat

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November 28, 2013

New jail facility under discussion

Proposed addition would house trusted jail inmates to free up space to take in more federal prisoners

(Continued)

CEC now employs 95 full-time employees and 20 part-time employees at the jail, King said, compared to the 36 full-time employees who started work in October of 2007, when the company first came on board.

“We went from Oct. 1, 2007, to mid-2009 with just county inmates,” he said. “In 2009, we started housing the U.S. Marshals’ inmates.”

King said the prisoners are “extra” ones from the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Worth, which is full.

“They like us because we’re clean, sanitary and have good medical,” he said.

“We also have a good transport team. Every day we transport prisoners to the federal court in Fort Worth and do all the medical runs.”

Last year, the average number of federal prisoners housed per day was 85, King said, adding this year it’s averaging about 110 per day.

“It’s one-in-four,” King said, “110 federal prisoners and 315 county inmates.”  

CEC is willing to construct the building at no cost because it’s good business, he said, the county pays $44.90 per day per county inmate.

In commissioners’ court Monday, Judge Mark Riley said the county is shipping “some of our low folks” to other facilities to make room for federal inmates, who pay the bills.

“It still does not cost us, it’s still a net dollar amount at the end of the day for the sheriff’s budget,” he said, “but they would like not to have to deal with that issue.

“CEC has offered to build at no cost to the county a work-release low-security jailhouse to keep everybody here.”

Riley said the sheriff is in favor of the proposal, and there is no opposition from the county attorney or auditor.

“It’s a win-win,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Craig Peacock said. “What they’re building is going to be minimum security. It will make it a lot simpler to pick trustees up for work in the mornings.”

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