By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – After a two day inspection and passing on it's first try, the new Lubbock County Jail is finally ready to house inmates. "It is a real testament that this inspection was done in such a short time with minimal problems and a lot of praise from state inspectors," said Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe.
Wednesday, the jail passed inspection from the Texas Jail Commission. The new jail took ten years and nearly $100 million to build, but they're now ready to start transferring inmates to the new facility. "We will do that July 19th, and the second greatest news is we're about six million dollars under budget so that's another great plus for the tax payers," said County Commissioner Bill McCay.
The new 400,000 square foot facility holds 700 more inmates than the current jail, helping to eliminate costs of housing inmates out of county. "This building is really, really designed different than the current facility downtown and it's going to take a lot of adjustments not only for our staff, but even more for our inmates," said Rowe.
For security and safety purposes while the staff is transferring prisoners, only a few will be taken at a time. This process could take up to five months before all inmates are at the new facility. "This is a maximum security prison it has been designed to hold the worst of the worst of this community and the staff, my administration, and myself are going to do everything we can to ensure this facility operates as safely and securely as possible," said Rowe.
Officials say it will take about five months to finish the transition. An official ribbon cutting for the facility will be July 14th.
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