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Smith County Jail population continues upward trend, surpasses 900 in July

Smith County Jail exterior

Fantastic data driven story about the rise in Smith county's jail population in the Tyler Morning Telegraph with great quotes from TJP's Executive Director Diana Claitor. Erin Mansfield does an excellent job of analyzing the data over the years and asking the type of questions county commissioners and tax payers should be paying close attention to. We wish more county newspapers would look closely at their pretrial populations and push their leaders to invest in courts and community based pretrial solutions instead of bigger jails.

“There are people who think the more locked up the better,” Claitor said. “That’s unfortunately an attitude that has had a detrimental effect on all of us. So I can firmly say that one of the reasons for many of the problems we see in Texas today is because of an increasing number of people held in jails.”

Smith, the sheriff, agreed with Claitor’s idea regarding mental health. He said when the jail population was in the low 800s, the count of inmates with mental health issues was about 125. That’s around 1 in 7 inmates.


Mansfield, E. 08/11/2019 Smith County Jail population continues upward trend, surpasses 900 in JulyTyler Morning Telegraph.

Category: In The News, Smith County |

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