Watch Largest Texas County Jail Fails Standards Inspection for 7th Time – Latest News
HOUSTON, Texas — The Harris County jail again failed an inspection from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards this month. Since 2004, the jail has failed checks a total of seven times.
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) notified Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales and County Judge Lina Hildago that “the jail in your county fails to comply with the minimum standards,” KPRC NBC2 in Houston reported. The commission gave the county 30 days to provide notice of actions initiated in response. The Harris County jail in the largest jail in the state of Texas.
The commission failed the jail in five critical areas, the local NBC affiliate reported after obtaining a copy of the report. Those include:
- Health Instructions
- Health Service Plan
- Keeping Inmates in Holding Cells Too Long
- Face-to-Face Observation of Inmates
- Insufficient Staffing Levels
“News of the jail’s most recent failed inspection comes as families and advocates push state and local officials to explain the alarming rise in deaths inside the jail,” the Houston Chronicle reported. “The FBI also launched investigations into the in-custody deaths of Jaquaree Simmons and Jacoby Pillow earlier this year.”
In September 2021, the Harris County Deputies Organization President David Cuevas filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Gonzalez and the Harris County Commissioners Court following years of failed jail inspections, Fox 26 reported.
“Year after year of failed jail inspections,” Cuevas told Fox 26’s Greg Groogan. “2004, 2005, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2017. What else are we going to do? They do not care! They have failed at every level. They just don’t give a damn.”
In response to the most recent inspection failure, Sheriff Gonzalez presented a four-part plan to the Harris County Commissioners Court to “turn things around,” the local Fox affiliate reported on Tuesday. The plan, in part, calls for:
- New jail employees
- Body cameras for all detention
- A new detention captain position
- An FMLA coordinator
- Retention bonuses for detention officers
KPRC reports the Commissioners Court approved the $7.4 million plan. Judge Hidalgo, the chief executive officer for the county, said funding for the plan is not in the budget but the changes are necessary.
The county will spend $3 million from ARPA funds with the balance coming out of the general fund.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.