A neighboring jail facility facing severe overcrowding will get a helping hand from Garvin County.

All three Garvin County commissioners agreed with Sheriff Jim Mullett earlier this week that a few beds in the jail here should be made available to help out the McClain County jail in Purcell.

The big problem there is an inmate overcrowding situation that's been ongoing for some time.

With that in mind commissioners here approved a detention agreement allowing for the temporary housing of some inmates from the McClain County facility.

The vote came after Mullett said he had spoken with McClain County's sheriff, Don Hewett, about getting some help.

“We've got about 10 beds we can spare,” Mullett told commissioners during a regular weekly meeting.

“They'll bring us some short-timers. We'll do the temporary housing to help them out.

“We want to help our neighbor the best we can.”

The arrangement calls for McClain County deputies to be the ones transporting inmates to and from the Garvin County jail in Pauls Valley.

According to Mullett, the jail in Purcell has been way over capacity for some time recently recording 144 inmates in a single day.

He's quick to add that jail facility has an official inmate capacity of 53.

In comparison the jail housed in the Garvin County courthouse has a capacity of 72 inmates.

Recently Mullett says it's averaged between 50 and 55 inmates a day. That number even dropped to 47 earlier this week.

“As long as we have the bed space we will help them,” he adds.

Assistant District Attorney Carol Dillingham, who serves as the legal counsel for commissioners in both counties, says the McClain County jail has been battling crowded jail conditions for more than two years.

She doesn't see an answer coming anytime soon as two previous measures calling for new jail facilities in Purcell were both turned down by voters in McClain County.

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