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Hempstead County Quorum Court

By Mark Keith, 02/25/22 12:02 AM


The Hempstead County Quorum Court met Thursday for their February meeting.  Following the prayer and Pledge, the JP’s moved into the agenda items.

The Quorum Court first considered an ordinance to allow for the acceptance of a grant for the RSAT program, a residential program to help drug offenders in conjunction with the Hempstead County Jail and “Banner Hope”.  JP James Griffin who is familiar with the program explained how the program will work. JP Steve Atchley asked if the program will be wholly funded by the grant or if there are any costs to be borne by the county.  If county funds are needed, Atchley said he and JP Ed Darling think  that should be brought to the Quorum Court Budget Committee.  Griffin talked about the presence of a deputy at the site which is at the old Migrant Center on Smith Road.  Griffin said he doesn’t know how that ( the deputy) will be funded and he hopes Sheriff Singleton might be along to answer any questions.  JP Cherry Stewart asked who will carry liability on the prisoners and Griffin said First Baptist Church.  Stewart also expressed reservations about being asked to vote on a measure she doesn’t know much about.  Griffin went on to explain the program’s success in Sevier County.  Deputy Prosecutor Ben Hale also further explained the program.  Hale called the program a “supplement” to other programs available to drug offenders.  Terrie James also weighed in on Sevier County’s results.  Hale noted the Sevier County program was based in part on some of the programs implemented during County Judge Jerry Crane’s tenure as sheriff.  Hale said these prisoners in the program would have no other option but prison without the RSAT program.  After further discussion, the ordinance was approved.

Judge Crane said there was a rumor they were moving into the new courthouse next week. He said that isn’t the case but that the public can tour the new building March 1st and 2nd from 9am until 3pm and the 1st from 5pm to 7pm.

The meeting then adjourned.