Smith County Jail Expansion and Renovation

Smith County Jail Expansion and Renovation

Smith County Jail Expansion and Renovation

Designing a Jail to Fit in the Context of a Downtown Setting

We worked with Smith County for several years to develop a comprehensive plan and design solution for this unique jail expansion project. The renovation and addition provides two new levels of housing with approximately 384 new inmate beds at the existing main jail in downtown Tyler, adjacent to the courthouse, as well as improvements to a low-risk jail facility located off-site. A key challenge involved designing such a large facility to fit within the context of a vibrant section of downtown Tyler.

The solution was to design the building to look more like a library than a corrections facility. By incorporating a rear chase it allowed the facility to have a glass and brick exterior, without a detention feel to it, helping it blend in with the other downtown buildings, and be a contextual and cohesive neighbor to the adjacent businesses.

In addition to the new beds, these enhancements were implemented as part of the expansion:

  • New security system controls were integrated within the existing facilities.
  • A new administrative offices addition supports the jail, allowing staff to be relocated from the main facility.
  • A new, larger vehicle sallyport was built along the east side of the existing jail facility.
  • Newly renovated space in the main jail provides space for intake/booking, inmate transfer and a court and medical/infirmary.


Smith County Jail Expansion and Renovation
Smith County

Tyler, TX
United States

60,000 SF (5,600 m²)