December 11, 2014 _ Smith County officials welcomed residents Thursday to the official public tour and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated Smith County Jail in downtown Tyler.
Current and former members of the Smith County Commissioners Court stood together to ceremoniously open the doors of the renovated jail, which includes a new infirmary, book-in area, and sally port where inmates enter and exit.
Officials from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office anticipate moving inmates into the renovated facility in late January 2015, after the completion of a required evaluation and assessment from the state Jail Standards Commission.
The new layout of the 60,000-square-foot facility includes 384 additional inmate beds. That includes new “direct supervision” pods that allows for one jailer to monitor and control the activity of 48 inmates inside a common-holding area. Also, the facility has new security system controls, video visitation, and a controlled-access recreation area.
The renovated jail takes increases the facility capacity up to 660 inmates, bringing Smith County's total capacity to 1,139.