Sheriff Michael Lindsey Ray said inmates found a way to compromise the locking systems in the main jail of Canton, 50 miles southeast of Dallas.
The Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office did not report any escapes.
Inmates were moved to jails in Upshur, Kaufman, and Henderson counties after the defective locks were discovered Monday. Van Zandt County will pay these counties about $30 per day per inmate.
Ray says contractors will have to replace internal components of the locking system. The repairs could take up to two weeks.
The county's minimum security jail has another type of locking system and those prisoners were not affected.