New Jail May Cost $85 Million

In this case, $2 million is just a Band-Aid. That's the approximate cost of solving the Smith County Jail overcrowding problem and getting in compliance with state law. But to make room for the growing number of inmates, the county is planning to build a new jail. And that's going to be expensive.

According to the county commissioners, a new jail with 1,464 beds would cost $85 million. A smaller, 1,100-bed facility, would cost $60 million.

Right now, the county's Jail Study Committee recommends building the larger jail. They think it would take at least three years to finish the new jail.

Julie Tam, reporting.