MIDLAND, Texas — Over the past couple of decades, the Midland County Jail has gotten to the point that it just doesn't have enough space for the number of inmates that it holds. Today, there was a presentation at the Midland County Commissioners Court on what the county should do to help solve this problem and how much it will cost.
"It has 500 beds, by jail standards we can only have about 480-485 inmates there, we're going to have to start shipping prisoners out," Precinct 1 Commissioner Scott Ramsey said. "We commissioned this study for an overall view of the whole Law Enforcement Complex."
The study includes four different parts.
"The first one's the jail, the second is the JP's, the courtroom and their offices, along with the justice of the peace, the third one's the sheriff's office and the fourth aspect is the mental health facility."
Whether it's renovated or a new facility is built, the solution won't be cheap, and will likely be voted on.
"The cost of this is far going to exceed our annual revenues, there's just not budgetary dollars for that," Ramsey said. "So yes, the citizens of Midland County will have a say in this."
To be clear, this is just a study, so nothing is set in stone.
"It's what can be done, it's not what we're going to do or what we have to do, we have to decide," Ramsey said.
From here, the people who did the initial study will draw up more concrete plans and bring them back to the commissioners. After that, it's all about making decisions.
"How do we go from here? It's an expensive deal," Ramsey said. "What do the people of Midland want? What can we afford to do? What should we do? That all has to be decided."
Renovating the current Midland County Jail could cost $73 million, while a new building could cost $124 million, according to the study.