A new jail in Archer County is expected to ease overcrowding problems all over Texoma.
The Texas Jail Commission is looking at the brand new Archer County Facility to ensure inmates and guards will be safe in the building.
It's taken a year to build the co-ed 48 bed facility. While the jail was being built, inmates had to be housed in other areas, costing Archer County thousands per month.
Pending certification by the jail commission, those inmates will move back to Archer by January.
The modern facility will also help surrounding areas that have a problem with inmate overcrowding.
"I think all the surrounding counties are having a problem with overcrowding. I know Wichita county has got some pretty big overcrowding issues over there," says the Sheriff, "And we are hoping at some point to maybe help them out by housing a few if we have room."
However, not everyone is happy about the new jail. Two homes surround the area and a petition was passed around the county to prevent construction. That petition didn't get enough signatures to halt progress, but county officials wanted to address concerns. A privacy fence was constructed to shield the jail from homes and the inmate recreational area will be inside the facility to help alleviate noise. Yet the Sheriff is still concerned about being a good neighbor.
"This place is lit up at night and that is kind of a concern of mine, bothering them with the lighting at night," Sheriff Beesinger says.
The building is secure, even though there are no bars in the jail. Instead, plexus glass and metal will keep the inmates cut off from the outside world, a better alternative than Archer County's previous jail.
"The current facility we have is so unsafe tor the employees and even the inmates. And here it is the top of the line security and so I can go home at night and rest assured my people will be safe. That's a big priority to me," the Sheriff explains.
Jail Administrator Randy Hanson agrees. "This facility should serve the community here for decades to come."
Deputy Hanson says the new jail is so big; you can fit the current jail in Archer County inside the kitchen of the new facility.
The jail will also house a Department of Public Safety office where 4 Troopers will be able to work. Those looking to get their drivers licenses will still have to go across county lines.
The Jail Commission is expected to certify the facility on December 77th. The building will be open December 1515th. Officials expect all inmates to be in the jail by January.
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