To the Editor:

Over the past two years or so, Coryell County residents who rely on this paper for news have been reading stories about the controversy over building a new jail.

They’ve been informed that the county is spending $500,000 per year ($44 per inmate per day) to house inmates in other counties because the county jail is overcrowded.

What they haven’t been told is that it costs the county over $50 per day to house them in our own jail. Although this has been discussed in Commissioners Court meetings, it has not been reported in the Daily Herald. Citizens should ask why.

In November 2011, the county held a bond election to secure voters’ permission to borrow money to build a new jail. That issue passed by only 180 votes, representing 4.5 percent of registered voters and only 2.4 percent of the entire county’s population. How many who voted “for” in that election would have done so had they known that we’re actually saving money sending our inmates to Milam County?

Why is it costing us more? It’s because our jail is overstaffed. Why is it overstaffed? Those are questions that should be asked by the reporter who covers Coryell County. And then, the answers given by elected officials should be checked for truthfulness.

Lt. Col. Richard Beil


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