MIDLAND COUNTY, TX (KWES) - With only three months left in the year, the Midland County Jail is being forced to ask for more money.
The jail asked for $675,000 for this year's budget but was denied and instead cut down to $600,000. Midland County Sheriff, Gary Painter, said the jail uses about $13,000 a week just to feed their inmates and the recently approved $90,000 should be able to feed the inmates for the rest of the year.
Sheriff Painter said the downturn in the economy is landing more and more people behind bars.
"People are in hard times, economic situations, they don't have the means of making the money they were making during the boom," said Painter. "We have people that are destitute doing whatever they can to take care of their family and they're having to go out and steal just to keep going and sell drugs. A lot more people are getting caught with the drugs because it's more prevalent now than it was."
Complicating the overcrowding issue is that the district attorney not able to get people to trial without lab results coming in from the DPS. Painter said the lab here does not have enough people working, which can cause some drug cases to be held up for up to a year.
We have reached out to the DPS and they said there are no under staffing issues at the labs but they do service 17 counties so sometimes, it may be a little behind.
Sheriff Painter said if the inmate count reaches past 480, they would need to ship inmates to other jails.