Bell Co. Jail receives compliance award for 30 years straight

BELL COUNTY, Texas -

Not ten, not twenty, but for thirty years now the Bell County Jail passed their annual jail inspection. 

"It's very rare it goes on this long," said Jail Administrator Capt. Byron Shelton, "I'm very honored and proud." 

The original Bell County Jail first opened its doors back in 1854. 

That building made of logs was replaced in 1873 by a limestone building that still stands today in Belton as a private residence. 

We've come a long way since then and now Bell County has two jail facilities with its newest built in 2008. 

But throughout the years, one thing remains the same. 

"At this level of corrections, It's about people not punishment," said Shelton who insists the reason behind the three decades of clean inspection is because of the staff's character, "These are the same people that are part of our community, these are people that we worship with, people we go to the store with, our neighbors, so the people that come through our doors we know we're going to see them again and the staff really gets it and they treat them like the humans beings that they are." 

Tuesday morning a ceremony was held outside the jail where Sheriff Eddy Lange honored each former jail administrator and talked about their success. 

"We want to be the best! We want to keep it going for the next 10, 20, years, to make sure we stay on top of that because we want to make sure our facility stays in compliance all those years," said Sheriff Lange. "We're so proud, this is an amazing thing for Bell County." 

Now, all that's left for Bell County Jail is to continue their way onto Compliance Award No. 31! 

Only three counties in the state, including Bell County, have passed the Texas Commission on Jail Standards Annual Inspection for 30 years or more consecutively. 

 


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