Wichita County Jail: Progress Report

Officials in Wichita County are still working hard to make improvements to the jail.

In June, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards said the jail was not in compliance, and gave them a list of things that needed to be improved.

"It's kind of reaching its usefulness," Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said, "We're going to stretch it as we make plans to do the new jail and its facilities, but that will take some support out of the taxpayers in the county to make that change."

During a County Commissioners meeting on Monday, officials got an update on what progress has been made so far.

Up to this point, around $70,000 has been spent on labor and materials.  With that money, officials said they have completed more then 130 work orders and more than 150 tasks.

"All the leaks have been repaired in the Annex," he said.

The kitchen has also been fixed with the new floors and fresh paint.  However, there are still electrical issues that need to be repaired.  Officials said most of the repairs have been done at the Jail Annex, since that is where most of the issues are.

"The most expensive, and we haven't gotten any figures on it, it's going out for a bid, but it's replacing those shower pans," Judge Gossom said.

Part of the reason why it will be so expensive is because the inmates will have to be transported to another county jail while the work is being done.  Officials explained they are already transporting inmates.

"There's come in Montague County, Childress, I think Jack County has some," he said.

Another large improvement is painting the jail.  The last time it was done, officials said it cost approximately $50,000.  While they do not plan to come close to that amount this time around, it will still cost quite a bit and take up a lot of time.

As far as a cost limit, there isn't one.  Judge Gossom said they have to be in compliance, so county commissioners will do whatever it takes.

Officials hope to have all of the repairs and improvements done in the next 30 to 45 days.  Then an inspector will come out to see what progress has been made.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6