The Hunt County Jail is not unique or greatly different from most any county jail found in America. It serves the purpose of housing both violent and non-violent offenders. These can be people with medical needs and substance abuse problems. They can be mentally ill or suffering from a short term mental health crisis. Jail staff has an obligation to protect these individuals from themselves; and others.
Many of our inmates are “pre-trial” and have not been convicted of the crime with which they are charged. They range from misdemeanor offenders to the most violent of offenders. Many pose a very real threat to the community if released. Our jail also houses sentenced inmates that are given jail time as a consequence of being found guilty, usually from our County Courts. Still others are awaiting transfer to the State Prison System for a felony conviction.
Without question, Jails are a tax burden on any local community. Much has been said about our jail, mainly because of the ongoing litigation reference the initial construction of the facility. However, we are by and large forgotten until bad things happen; i.e. escape or suicide. Jails throughout the country are also constantly involved in the threat of litigation on issues ranging from medical care to accusations that an inmate’s constitutional rights being violated. No jail is immune.
Jails are often perceived as a place for “bad” people. Actually, most inmates in County jail are decent people who have made bad choices. They are our family members, friends, and neighbors who have made a mistake and must be punished for their crimes, or held for trial. We have an obligation to give them the opportunity to turn their lives around. Even with the budgetary restraints and the environment we work within, we are still able to reach many offenders and provide them with that opportunity.
The Hunt County jail offers General Equivalency Diploma (GED) classes and testing through the assistance of Texas A&M University- Commerce. The jail also offers Anger Management classes, Parenting classes, Chemical Dependency classes, DWI classes, Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Alcohol Anonymous (AA) classes. Most of these classes are offered through volunteers in the community. Included are A&M Commerce faculty members such as Doctor Lavelle Hendricks,. Dr. Hendricks is a certified Texas Alcohol and Drug Education Administrator who volunteers his time working with our inmate population. Also coordinating this effort is Captain Lana ADAMS, who also serves as a college professor and holds a Masters Degree in education.
The Hunt County jail also offers a wide variety of religious services as well through our Jail Ministry, currently presided over by Jan Rominger. This faithful group of over fifty (50) volunteers has made a difference in many inmates’ life and provides needed peer support and spiritual assistance to those who desire it.
Our newest project is to work with the community in a re-entry program, designed to help releasing inmates find housing and jobs. Our philosophy is to give an inmate every opportunity and the encouragement to turn their life around.
Nearly all of what you read about has been instituted or developed since January of 2009. You see, a local jail is a “community within a community”. Core functions include mail service, food service, mental health services, health care services, sanitary services, and maintenance services. Our jail is a community, not too much different than the one an average citizen lives in. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to make the transition from the jail community to the local community as smooth as possible with the understanding the jail will always exist; primarily to protect the citizens of the community we serve.
Hunt County Jail
Raised in Missouri, Lee Greninger graduated from Rocky Comfort High School. Immediately after graduating, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, served in Vietnam, later becoming a military corrections officer at Treasure Island, San Francisco. Lee graduated from the San Francisco Police Academy and the Army and Navy Correctional Supervisors courses while working at the Naval Brig on Treasure Island. After rejoining civilian life, he returned home and worked as a Deputy for the Newton County Sheriffs Office and then the Joplin MO Police Department. Lee then found a home with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for the next 21 years. In 2000-2004, he taught high school History at the Campbell ISD while simultaneously working on a Master’s Degree in Education. Lee obtained that degree in 2004. Lee and his wife have three grown children and four adopted children. He is a member of VFW Post 4011 and serves on the Campbell ISD school board as well as the board for the Campbell Water Corporation. Lee and his family currently attend the First Baptist Church of Campbell.