JIM WELLS COUNTY -- The lockup in Jim Wells County is getting a much needed face lift. It turns out the jail cells weren't up to state standards. Now, most of the inmate population is being held elsewhere, until repairs are complete.
Cpt. Tommy Torres said, the rebar originally used to build the cell walls wasn't installed correctly and when you add that to the wear and tear on the building over the years, the jail's standards dropped.
"They're still bringing inmates in, with accordance with jail standards, we cannot utilize these designated areas," Cpt. Torres said.
Although they are still bringing some criminals into the jail, they aren't inmates that require high security.
"There are several areas in our separation hallway that are good," Cpt. Torres added.
Officers said, areas damaged have been backed by steel plates and screwed and capped into place.
"It's pretty much a cap where they can't mess with the screw and bolt," Cpt. Torres said.
He said, it's important to completely cover the areas where repairs have been made so inmates don't try to pull a fast one.
"We don't want to have any defaults because you don't want the inmates escaping or you don't want them hiding contraband in there that they can use against an officer or other inmates," Cpt. Torres said.
While Jim Wells County is still bringing inmates in, they have over half of their initial inmates being held in Brooks County. Cpt. Torres said, it cost 48 dollars a day to house inmates in another county, that's two dollars more than if they were housed in Jim Wells.
Officers said, that extra money adds up and hope to bring their inmates back "home" as soon as the final repairs are finished.