The Erath County Jail has passed its annual inspection with flying colors, despite a problem with overcrowding and some antiquated equipment.

And that’s good news for Sheriff Tommy Bryant, who said he is more proud of this year’s inspection than of any others in the past.

“We have thousands of inmates come through here every year,” Bryant said. “For the jail staff to be able to hold everything together - and for the Texas Jail Commission to find nothing wrong — is a real testament to the kind of work they do. It’s a huge compliment.”

The jail, built in 1989, is inspected every year. The inspection consists of equipment checks, a fire drill, an inspection of the cleanliness of the kitchen, paperwork and talking to inmates themselves concerning the treatment from the staff.

To prepare for the annual inspection, Bryant said they didn’t do much more than check the alarm system to ensure that it was working properly.

“There wasn’t much we had to do,” he said. “We were ready.”

County officials are currently making plans to add on to the jail and update the facility.

SARA VANDEN BERGE is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at 254-968-2379, ext. 240.