Jefferson County Adult Probation Director Jim Stott says now is the time for the 28-year-old Women's Restitution Center on 11th Street in Beaumont to get a brand new building, or at least expand.
The 9,600 square foot building is home to 60 low level female offenders.
"We're running out of room, the facility does have a waiting list," said Stott. "We've had plumbing problems, we had to have the floor jacked up to repair due to leaks... the kitchen area is not large enough to accommodate all the residents."
Stott says the goal is to expand from 60 residents to 80 or even 100, as the center works to enhance its treatment programs.
"To help people with drug and alcohol problems, criminal thinking errors, social needs," he said.
A pod was added in front of the building just two months ago to make room for new in-house substance abuse counselors.
In order to make more changes happen, the center needs funding from the state, and Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick has drafted a letter that, once authorized, will be sent to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. In it he writes, "We believe that the program exemplifies all that is positive about changing the lives of offenders and making our community a much safer place in which to live... We wholeheartedly support the proposal that a new facility is critically needed."
Stott says support from community leaders is essential to ensuring funding, and that funding is essential to ensuring the women get the care needed to change their lives for the better.