One day after another inmate was 'negligently released' from the Bexar County Jail, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards has come down hard on the jail, giving it a failing report for the first time in ten years, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The final report, sent by the Commission to Sheriff Javier Salazar and County Judge Nelson Wolff, and provided to 1200 WOAI news, warns that the Commission has the authority to issiue a 'Remedial Order,' which would mandate compliance, if the Sheriff does not move to resolve the issues. Sheriff Javier Salazar says, even though some of the deficiencies cited have been in place since the jail opened in the 1990s, he is putting together a plan to fix the problems the commission cited, and has installed a veteran deputy as the new Jail Administrator to put the plan in place.
One of the major issue citied by the Commission is the uase of civilian, non certified, and non licensed employees to perform the duties normally required to be performed by sworn personnel, especially in intake and discharge of inmates.
In the understatement of the year, the inspectors noted: "The releasing officer shall determine inmate identity before discharge and released." The 'negligent' release of an inmate on Monday, an inmate who was quickly recaptured, is the fourth mistaken inmate release in the last several months.
Other defincies cited by the inspectors include:
* Failure to update an inmate's custody status following a disciplinary infraction
* An inability to document that detention officers and other jailers have undergone suicide prevention training as required by laws dating back to 1997, and updated following the high profile suicide of Sandra Bland in an east Texas county jail in 2015.
* A failure to document that inmates are receiving minimum access to recreation time as required by state law. Recreation much be offered to inmates for a minimum of one hour at a time, three days a week. Three inmates escaped from a recreation yard last year, although they were quickly recaptured.
* "The adminsitration has employed or authorized civilian employees to perform the duties of licensed jailers, bailiffs and licenced peace officers in the security permeter of the court holiding cells," the inspectors said of the handling of inmates who are appearing in court. "These civilian employees are not licensed as required."