By Alan Sorensen
Hill County Sheriff Tim Solomon said that several people asked about conditions at the old jail during tours at the new Justice Center two weeks ago. In response to their questions, Solomon and the Hill County Commissioners have elected to hold open house at the old jail this week.
The open house will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Visitors can reach the sheriffs office easiest by entering the lower level of the courthouse through the east door. The sheriffs office is the first door to the right.
The old jail was limited to a total of 28 prisoners under ideal conditions. There was room for 20 prisoners in the main cell block, one prisoner in each of the two holding cells, and six women split between the two upstairs cells. Up to three juvenile boys could be housed for a limited time in the more secure of the womens cells when the womens population was down to three or fewer inmates.
Comparatively, the new Hill County Justice Center has a total of 78 beds. Unless circumstances call for an adjustment in population numbers, the jail is intended to house eight women, six juveniles, 8 maximum-security prisoners, 16 medium-security prisoners, and 24 minimum-security prisoners.
The facility also contains three holding cells and a padded cell. There also are 14 beds available in a dormitory for work-release and weekend prisoners.
Solomon said there is room for another bed in the maximum-security section. One was left out that could be added in, Solomon said. We can weld it if we ever need it.