Milam Jail overcrowded, ‘farms out’ male inmates to Lee County

CAMERON— Milam County Judge Dave Barkemeyer this week said the county jail has experienced overcrowding of male prisoners in recent weeks and has contracted with the Lee County Jail in Giddings to house the overflow.

Barkemeyer said the Milam Jail’s capacity is 112 for male inmates, a nd 32 for fema le inmates.

A surge in the number of local (Milam County) inmates led to the overcrowding, he said.

“We were averaging about 80 local prisoners when we signed the contract with Coryell County,” Barkemeyer said.

But recently the Milam Jail peaked at “well over 100 inmates” forcing Milam officials to house seven inmates in Lee County.

COSTS—“Lee County charges us $43 per day to house an inmate, the same as we’re charging Coryell County,” Barkemeyer said.

The five-year contract was approved by Milam County commissioners in April. Milam officials estimated the Cameron jail would house an average of 40 Coryell inmates per day.

Barkemeyer said Milam officials picked up the first load of Coryell County inmates in mid- May.

“By the first of June we were running over 40 on a regular basis and the highest so far has been 46,” he said. “It appears we will easily average 40.”

Barkemeyer said most Coryell inmates have been male prisoners.

REVENUE—Barkemeyer said the annual income to Milam County from housing Coryell inmates per day was estimated at $300,000 to $500,000.

He said since the contract calls for Milam officials to transport inmates to and from the Coryell County Jail in Gatesville, Milam County purchased an additional van and hired two deputies to handle the transportation.

“Total annual additional costs are estimated at $150,000 to $200,000, including the above mentioned costs,” he said.

Barkemeyer said at an average of 40 Coryell inmates, revenue to Milam County would run about $625,000 annually.

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