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Ector County Jail Overcrowding

The Ector County Jail is nearing capacity and now the county is turning to other facilities to house its inmates.
Odessa, TX (Local Big 2 News) - "We are going to have to take some very aggressive steps to get control of our jail population," said Judge Susan Redford.

Ector County Judge Susan Redford talks about an extremely high overflow of inmates, leading to overcrowding.

"Our jail has been hovering right at capacity for the past few weeks," said Redford.

Something that's taking a toll on the county.

"It's way too high for a county our size," said Redford.

That's why the Commissioner's Court approved a contract Tuesday to allow inmates to be transported to other counties.

"Hale County will be able to hold some of our female inmates," said Redford.

The jail in Lynn County already houses about twenty prisoner's but, they don't hold female inmates.

And Sheriff Mark Donaldson told me the female population is growing.

"We really had a big influx of inmates, especially females," said Donaldson.

It's not only space, one of the main problems can be blamed on staffing.

"We can't staff what we have," said Redford.

Donaldson tells me they need to have one jailer per 48 inmates.

"We're probably twenty jailers short," said Donaldson.

Another issue? The system.

"We need to get people moved through the system faster," said Donaldson.

Judge Redford feels this approval is necessary right now.

"Just to help us get control of that overflow on a temporary basis, until we find a permanent solution," said Redford.
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