HEMPSTEAD, Texas (FOX 26) - The death of Sandra Bland in 2015 put the Waller County jail in the national spotlight and not for the best of reasons, exposing an antiquated facility in Hempstead with procedures that were called into question.
There will be a change with the nearly 30-year-old jail, FOX 26 News has learned.
Waller County leaders are now moving forward with a plan to replace the 110-bed facility.
"It was something we were looking at before the Sandra Bland matter came about," says Waller County Judge Trey Duhon. "Obviously with the Sandra Bland matter, we want to make sure any facility we do build enable us to provide the safest environment for our inmates."
But one would be foolish not to believe the death of Sandra Bland did not put the proposal for a new jail on the fast track.
The jail has instituted new procedures and new technology but the growing county begs for a larger facility -- a new jail that would be built behind the Waller County Road and Bridge Department on U.S. Highway 290.
There are 60 acres of land that Waller County already owns and would be used for the new holding facility.
For Waller County residents already focused on the presidential election, will those people be willing to vote in November 2017 for a bond to build a new jail? Surprisingly, everyone who shared their opinions with FOX 26 said that yes, it's time for a new facility.
Judge Duhon says the anticipated cost of the new facility will be around $20 million.