Plans for Improving the Midland Jail

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

The Midland County Jail has more prisoners that they can handle. Now Commissioners are using findings from a report, released Monday to combat the overcrowding.

Commissioners met Monday and talked about making the jail better. Officials were ready and willing to take the first step.

"There are so many ideas that came out today, and I'm excited. I'm ready to go home and get a shovel and turn dirt," said Sheriff Gary Painter.

That is how Painter felt after listening to presentations at the Commissioner's Court. Options were laid out for officials during the meeting. An extensive study was brought to the table by Carl Griffith and Associates who say Midland County's problem of overpopulated jails can be fixed.

"It's got to be attacked on several different fronts to fix that, but it can be," said Carl Griffith, the president and CEO of Griffith and Associates. "And it will be. I believe because you have elected officials who are willing to work together."

In addition to presenting ways that the Midland jail can expand, the company offered suggestions on how different county departments can work together better. The goal for Midland is to find cost efficient ways of improving the jail system. However, don't expect a new jail so fast. Judge Mike Bradford said Monday's meeting is just a first step.

"Because we are not going to run out this door, and draw up a jail and build it tomorrow," explained Bradford. "We need competent guidance and we need to be sure we have the buy in to make it all happen."

County officials will have to discuss all the options and recommendations presented Monday. While it may take a while to build or expand on the jail, officials say it will be a big help to Midland in the long run.