Jail Overcrowding Spurs New Issues - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/30/03 - Smith County

Jail Overcrowding Spurs New Issues

An overcrowding problem inside the Smith County Jail, may force the City of Tyler to look elsewhere to house some of its' prisoners.

The two sides have had an agreement over the housing of prisoners for years, but recent issues over the amount of time offenders are actually spending behind bars may change that.

The contract calls for the city to pay $35 a day for all Class C offenders it places in the jail.

Court Administrator Cam McCabe says it has come to her attention the city is being charged even if prisoners serve just a few hours. She says while it may be what the contract calls for, it's not the best thing for the city or the taxpayers.

"There is nothing in our agreement that says you have to stay a certain number of hours before the city pays you, and that's one thing we need to renegotiate," she said. "We have to find a medium where both of us can be served the best possible way or like I told them, I need to look elsewhere, see if there is another solution that would include another jail as well."

The contract between the city and county can be amended at anytime. The Smith County Sheriff's department says they are willing to sit down and work with the city to find a solution.

Chris Gibson, reporting
cgibson@kltv.com

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