MCLENNAN COUNTY, TX — On Tuesday, McLennan County took control of the Jack Harwell Detention Center following a ceremony with sheriff's office officials.
McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said he is looking forward to making positive changes at the detention center.
"The main thing we want to do is make sure that this facility is run properly and efficiently and in the proper way for the safety of our citizens, our police officers and inmates as well," McNamara said.
Previously, the detention center had been owned by a private company, LaSalle Corrections, who announced earlier this year that it would not be renewing it's contract with the jail.
The decision came after months of scrutiny over the conditions inside the jail and three failed state inspections.
During the ceremony, Major Ricky Armstrong received a badge and said he is looking forward to overseeing jail operations.
"We are full speed ahead," Armstrong said.
In addition to adding over 100 jailers to the detention center staff, new programs focusing on reducing inmate recidivism and mental health are being implemented.