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Brazos County Jail holds record inmate population, needs more officers

The Brazos County Jail has reached more than 800 inmates, inching toward its total capacity of 1,100.
Posted at 3:49 PM, Apr 19, 2024

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — With a population of more than 800, the Brazos County Jail is nearing its capacity of 1,100 inmates.

  • Jail officials say the jail was built with expansion in mind so their primary concern right now is staffing, not space.
  • As the jail population increased, staffing has stayed the same, creating a shortage of corrections officers.
  • Right now the jail has 17 vacancies for corrections officers, to help meet a Texas mandate requiring every jail to have one officer for every 48 inmates at all times. The jail is currently meeting that mandate through overtime.

Broadcast Script:

“The last several years our population has hovered around 650 — we've had a slow incline of 700. But this last year it's gone up sharply, and we've just now recently started hitting 800, or 800 plus.”

Brazos County Chief Deputy Kevin Stuart says, although the jail holds more inmates than ever before, it's not from arresting more people.

“There's not more people being arrested. It looks like that's consistent so there probably are some more serious offenses that, for whatever reason, maybe they have a higher bond and folks just aren't getting out.”

The same amount of people going in, but fewer getting out. With a population of more than 800, the jail is nearing its capacity of 1,100 inmates. Stuart tells me the jail was built with expansion in mind, but space is not their main concern.

“We're all built for future expansion, and we're not quite there yet. That's a few years out before we even have that conversation. Really what our concern is, is staffing because we're only staffed for the amount of inmates that we had, and now that's going up.”

The state of Texas mandates that at all times, jails must be staffed with one officer for every 48 inmates. Right now, the Brazos County Jail is meeting that requirement through overtime, as they wait for 17 vacancies to be filled.

“We're currently, today, we have 17 vacancies. And so, all jails in general, have a little bit of turnover every month. And so we're just kind of, we're always open. We're always taking applications, we're always interviewing.”