By Alan Sorensen
The number of inmates in Hill County rose noticeably over the weekend, exceeding the limit imposed by the old Hill County Jails size and condition.
On Monday morning, four women and 23 men were incarcerated in the new Justice Center. That compared with just two women and 12 men on Friday.
But all of the growth in jail population isnt owing to an increased number of local arrests to fill the new cells.
Some of those are paying prisoners, Sheriff Tim Solomon said Monday. We could have had five more, but we have new staff getting used to a new facility.
Those paying customers are five state inmates who can now be housed in Havre. The new facility also complies with federal regulations and qualifies for federal prisoners such as those who are apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol.
The county charges state and federal agencies its own costs of keeping prisoners, $45 per prisoner per day. The per day cost of housing inmates is based on the daily operating cost from last year. The new facility uses the same number of detention officers as the old jail.
Prisoners were transferred from the old jail adjacent to the courthouse to the Justice Center on West Second Street one week ago today.
Solomon predicts that his office, including deputies and staff will move into his new sheriffs office building adjacent to the Justice Center by the end of October.