Temporary jails could be remedy to overcrowding

Jack King

Faced with jail overcrowding and spending money to house prisoners out of county, members of the Curry and Roosevelt county commissions met with representatives of a portable building company on Thursday to discuss the use of temporary jail buildings.
Curry County Manager Geneva Cooper, Roosevelt County Administrator Charlene Hardin, Curry County Commissioners Tim Ashley and Pete Hulder, Roosevelt County Commissioners Tom Clark and Paul Grider, Curry County Jail Administrator Don Burdine and Roosevelt County Assistant Jail Administrator Ben Martinez attended the meeting.
The county officials said the meeting was an attempt to explore alternatives to their current methods of housing prisoners. Currently, there is no plan to use the temporary buildings, they said.
“We’re here because both counties have the same problem,” Grider said.
Burdine said recently he budgeted $200,000 to house prisoners out of county this year, but probably will have to ask the commission for more money in December. Hardin said Thursday her detention center budgeted $140,000 for out-of-county prisoners this year, but also may have to ask for more.
“If the current trend continues, we’ll have to ask the commission for more money in three and a half months,” she said.
Kate Orloski, director of marketing for General Marine Leasing of Bell Chasse, La., said nationwide her company provides temporary jail facilities for between $5 and $12 a day per prisoner, but the amount varies depending on the design of the facilities.
Cooper and Hardin said if the counties decide to use temporary buildings, provision of them will be put out for bid, as required by state law.