Stephens County agrees to jail agreement with city of Cisco

The Stephens County Commissioners Court approved a first-time jail confinement contract between Stephens County and the city of Cisco at its meeting Monday morning.

Prisoners will be accepted for housing in the Stephens County Jail from the city of Cisco when space is available, charging $40 each day for each prisoner held under the terms of the contact.

“The contract is written in a way that is both beneficial to the city of Cisco and Stephens County,” Stephens County Sheriff Will Holt said. “If ever there is an issue with us being full of our own inmates, then we can temporarily or permanently nullify the contact. Over the last several weeks, the current number of inmates have been in the high 20s and low 30s. For example, we can hold up to 48 people in our jail in a perfect scenario. If we all the sudden housed a bunch of our own local offenders, and we didn’t have any room to take in any inmates from another city or county, then we would temporarily let that county or city know that until further notice. We can’t take anybody because we’re full of our people.”

Although a new agreement with the city of Cisco, Holt said the county has a similar agreement with Shackleford County and other areas.

“This is a brand new contract, but it reads almost identical to contracts we have with Shackleford County and Young County,” he said. “County jails all over the state will have housing contracts with other counties. It’s quite common. The housing agreements that Stephens County has had with Shackleford and Young County have been going on for years.”

Holt said a contract with Shackleford County was signed in January between himself and Shackleford County Sheriff Edward Miller. He added that Throckmorton County doesn’t have a jail, allowing surrounding counties to help house inmates.

“Where in the county they arrest folks determines what jail they take them to,” he said. “One of the points I was trying make was that habitual offenders or criminals don’t stop at the county lines when they’re committing crimes. We at the sheriff’s office have to be willing to work with other counties to help fight crime, and that’s one way to do that.”

City of Cisco Municipal Court Judge Cheryl Howerton attended the meeting alongside Holt and stated her view on the contract.

“Stephens County sheriff and his employees have done an excellent job,” Howerton said. “I am very impressed with the jail and how it is run. It’s immaculate and very well taken care of. The sheriff and his officers have been great to work with so far, and I look forward to having this contract with them.”

Commissioners also:

Corrected and approved minutes for special meetings on August 28, 2017 regarding budget and tax rate.

Continued the Stephens County Burn Ban.

Discussed Stephens County Treasurer’s report and amendment report for August 2017.

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