HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Hays County continues to send hundreds of inmates to other county jails because the staff is spread thin. But the cost to do this is going up.

The money originally intended to help pay for more Hays County correction officers is paying for outsourcing.

As of Tuesday, 287 Hays County inmates are locked up outside county lines.

“We’re in six different county jails and one private facility,” said Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler.

They are housed in a total of seven other counties with the furthest being nearly 300 miles away.

map of texas showing the counties Hays County outsources inmates to
Currently, Haskell County has the most Hays County inmates with 157.

Sheriff Cutler said they need more correction officers to take in more inmates.

“We’re doing all we can to recruit. We work with Texas State University advertisement right now,” Cutler said.

It’s costing the county $24,126 in one day and it’s getting more expensive.

“Comal County was increased, I believe that was from $85 to $100 per day per inmate. Their costs for laborers are going up as well. Inflation is affecting that,” said Hays County Commissioner Lon Shell.

The money originally set aside for the salaries of new correction officers is paying for the transfers.

“We have vacancies in our corrections officers staff. Those savings are what technically would be paying for the shift from that budgeted line to the budgeted line that pays for outsourcing,” Shell said.

Amy Kamp, founder of the Hays County Jail Advocates, said she’s seen firsthand the negative impact of the moves.

“They make it hard to maintain bonds with their family members. They make it hard for them to communicate with their attorneys,” Kamp said.

She hopes for more of a focus on why the jail has a record number of inmates in the first place.

“A lot of people are in the jail because they lack the money to afford bond. So, you know, where are the initiatives to make sure that bond is being set at a reasonable amount that people can afford?” Kamp said.

Ultimately, the county said it wants to bring all inmates back to Hays County when staffing allows it.