Order highlights problem of overcrowding at jail

An order restricting the incarceration of Class C misdemeanor offenders at the Hockley County Jail has been lifted.

Sheriff R.C. Cheek lifted the order Wednesday.

In a memo Tuesday, Cheek stated that the facility could not accept such offenders due to ìextreme overcrowding.

Officers who stop an offender for a Class C violation were asked to issue a citation or arrange for an immediate magistrate appearance.

Cheek said he lifted it after realizing that some Class C offenders could be violent.

Most Class C misdemeanors center around traffic offenses.

Police Chief Toney Cowan said the order concerned him because some of those misdemeanors can lead to the arrests of individuals for such offenses as shoplifting and public intoxication.

ìMy concern was safety for the public,î Cowan said.

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