Drug arrests, slow evidence testing leads to overcrowding at Taylor County Jail

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – More drug arrests and slow evidence testing have lead to overcrowding at the Taylor County Jail.

There are almost 800 inmates currently at the jail, many of them being held for the same potential crime.

“You look at the number of drug offenses in this community and it is astounding what’s going on in terms of the drug culture out there,” said Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls.

As more alleged drug offenders are booked into the jail, the evidence collected from their arrests is sent off for testing, but it can take anywhere from weeks to months for their evidence to be tested as state labs are already struggling to test backlogged evidence from older cases.

“If we can find a better place to do our lab work and speed up the process that’s what we’ll do,” said Bolls.

The Taylor County Commissioner’s Court is discussing several solutions to the overcrowding problem, one of which is modeled by what some areas of Texas are already doing.

“In some cases the state of texas is using out of state labs to test their evidence. If we can do the same thing we can shorten that period from six months to six weeks and be ready at that point to go to trial,” said Bolls.

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