Local jail seeks solutions for overcrowding

Local jail seeks solutions for overcrowding

Amarillo, TX - Potter County commissioners are stepping in to help with the overcrowding problem that continues to plague the Potter County Detention Center.

Commissioners met Monday to discuss ways to solve the problem.

The 603-bed jail is often at, or close to capacity. Overcrowding is especially an issue with female inmates, who are sometimes sent to the jail in Childress because there is not enough room.

County commissioners said they are considering reducing fines and using GPS tracking devices on low-risk inmates as an immediate solution.

"There are some things we can do immediately," said commissioner H.R. Kelly. "Maybe cut down the fines that are being assessed by the judges and get people who are not at risk to the county out back to work, where they can work and pay off their fines. Because they're not paying off their fines while they're sitting in jail."

Using GPS ankle monitors would actually save the county money. The ankle monitors cost about two dollars a day compared to the 41 dollars it costs to house an inmate.

Commissioners said they are looking into different companies and trying to figure out which agency would monitor the devices.