Lubbock County Commissioners approve funds to move inmates to other counties due to overcrowding

Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 6:24 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - More inmates are heading to other jails across the state due to overcrowding in the Lubbock County Detention Center.

On Monday, Lubbock County Commissioners agreed to allocate more funds to find these inmates beds, however, Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish stated the current situation will not change anytime soon.

“We are just spreading our inmates out all over West Texas, and even some into central Texas, just so we can find beds to house them,” said Parrish.

Overcrowding is something the Lubbock County Detention Center has been battling for years. Parrish stated the issue stems from an increase in population, mainly female inmates. However, transporting those inmates is becoming costly for the county.

“It’s not just the million dollars that will get us to the end of the fiscal year, but also today we approved an additional $15,000,” said Parrish.

Even after the inmates arrive in other cities, it still falls on Lubbock County taxpayers to cover the daily costs of care, which is what those funds are going towards.

“It’s the daily costs those jails incur on us, plus also medical costs so anytime that inmate that’s being housed in another county needs some sort of medical attention, that’s a cost to Lubbock County,” said Parrish.

Most of Lubbock County’s outsourced inmates go to the recently reopened Dalby Correctional Facility in Garza County. It is now charging $62 a day per inmate, an increase of seven dollars over the previous rate.

“We have almost 200 inmates that are Lubbock County inmates that are being housed outside of Lubbock county,” Parrish said.

Although it would be cheaper to keep inmates here in Lubbock County, Parrish stated it is not an option until the Lubbock County Detention Center is expanded.

“I don’t like the fact that we are using services outside of this county to take care of Lubbock County. It’s time for us to step up and take care of our people here,” Parrish said.

Last year, County Commissioners approved an assessment of the jail to determine what kind of expansion is needed. There has been no update on whether that expansion will happen.