Why Are Nearly 500 Texas Inmates Being Sent to Louisiana Jails?
Nearly 200 Texas prisoners are now locked up in a Louisiana Jail right now, and according to a report from ABC 13 - lots more are on the way. While moving inmates from one facility to another is fairly common, the sheer number of incarcerated folks involved in this of game correctional musical chairs makes this move extremely out of the ordinary.
So far, 192 inmates from the Harris County Jail in Houston have been shipped to a jail in Lasalle Parish, Louisiana. Officials say that is just the tip of the iceberg as at least 300 more will be on the way soon. According to a statement from the Harris County Sheriff's Office:
almost all men awaiting trial in generally acceptable health with court dates set approximately 40-45 days out. Inmates in high risk or special circumstances will not be eligible for transfer.
The inmate shuffle is being conducted so that the facility in Harris County can lower it's population. This is necessary because the The Texas Commission on Jail Standards told Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez that his jail was in violation of state standards. Emptying the lock-up will give officials the time and space then need to bring everything up to code. According to the report, the move will be paid for by Harris county taxpayers.
The main issue with the Harris County jail, as noted by prison inspectors is the "tense and hostile environment inside the jail." That inspection was conducted in November of last year, just days after a string of assaults in the jail, including the case of an employee's alleged brutal sexual assault by a prisoner in her office.
At the time of this report no target date for completion of the project was given.