Bexar County

Video: Carlota Torres reads her touching letter

Sep 16th, 2015 | By
Video: Carlota Torres reads her touching letter

Carlota and Gregorio Torres met with us in San Antonio while they awaited what they thought would be the relase of their son,
but he was held for several more months.



To my little brother

Dec 29th, 2014 | By
To my little brother

I have been fighting for justice for my younger brother since he passed away in 2012 [in the Bexar County Jail]. Tommy was a shy, but friendly, outgoing person, filled with more love and kindness than anyone I have ever met. Oh, how his smile was infectious and his laugh was always sincere and contagious! Tommy worked as an electrician for over 8 years, as well as helping out friends and family with anything they might need. His daughter was 3 years old when he passed away—she has his smile and his personality and that keeps his memory alive.



Young people die in our local jails

May 16th, 2014 | By
Young people die in our local jails

The numbers of people dying in county jails are adding up in 2014—and most recently, one of them was especially tragic. Only 18, Victoria Gray died in September in the Brazoria County Jail after that jail failed in so many ways, it will take a full investigation to sort that out and hold officers and officials accountable. Some, like Victoria, die of suicide while others die of what is called “natural causes,” and their deaths are not always investigated. (More have died in police custody or other facilities; we are only listing those in county jails.) Earlier this year, the list included Courtney Ruth Elmore, was 33 years old. She died February 11, 2014, around 7:00 a.m.. in the Brown County Jail. Was the staff trained to watch for respiratory failure? David Grimaldo, 18, a Perryton High School student died just hours after being booked into the Ochiltree County Jail. The Ochiltree County Sheriff Joe Hataway read from an autopsy report saying that the teen died of a medical condtion complicated by intoxication. Could it have been prevented?



Instead of Travis County Jail: A Sobering Center

Mar 17th, 2014 | By
Instead of Travis County Jail: A Sobering Center

People + too much alcohol = public intoxication charges. The right formula? Not really.
Consider the results of those arrests: a. Pretrial detention in a jail, where anything can and does happen to a person sobering up.
b. a criminal record for people who are often otherwise law-abiding.
c. officers waste hours booking drunks instead of pursuing serious criminals.
Of all the arrests in a year, about 10% of them are for this Class C misdemeanor, crowding the jail cells. Houston and San Antonio already have sobering centers. This healthier alternative to the Travis County Jail is explored in an editorial from the Austin American-Statesman, March 12, 2014.



We ask San Antonio: how is the jail now?

Jan 10th, 2014 | By
We ask San Antonio: how is the jail now?

To BEXAR COUNTY families:

Bexar County’s sheriff is now Susan Pamerleau and she has said, “I pledge to the citizens of Bexar County to make public safety my number one priority, with a strong foundation of stewardship of taxpayer dollars; improvements in jail operations; and family violence prevention initiatives.”

Please email us at Diana@texasjailproject.org to report all experiences with the jail in the past year. Texas Jail Project also wants to know about diversion programs in Bexar County–how well are they serving the people of San Antonio?



Bexar County Sued Times Two

Aug 2nd, 2013 | By
Bexar County Sued Times Two

San Antonio once again demonstrates the potential for liability when jails do not provide good medical care or any care at all. This story is about ongoing developements since Bexar County Jail inmates Thomas Reed Taylor, 30, and Antonio Obregon Jr., 32, died while incarcerated in August and February, respectively.



Tommy Taylor–Dead in Seven Hours

Jun 7th, 2013 | By
Tommy Taylor–Dead in Seven Hours

San Antonio Current writer Michael Barajas is leaving the paper and pursuing other goals, and we will miss his throrough coverage of issues related to inmates in the jails of San Antonio. This last story reveals so much about the inner workings of an understaffed and dysfunctional jail that it reads like a book, but Barajas also does a smpathetic and intelligent analysis of a young man’s life and tragic death. We can hope that Tommy Taylor’s seven hours in the jail will lead to a better jail, but we also have to hope the Current finds a reporter/writer who can cover stories with the passion Barajas brought to these cases.



Bexar County Jailer Faked Records When Inmate Died

Apr 27th, 2013 | By

Texas Jail Project and others protested in San Antonio last fall, to call attention to the death of Tommy Taylor who died in the Bexar County Jail just six hours after turning himself in, August 21, 2012. Now comes a San Antonio Current story that a jailer did not do the mandatory cell check–jailers are required to check on “isolated inmates” in solitary cells every 30 minutes–and that might well have saved Taylor’s life. Jailer Ernesto Flores is accused of hiding that fact by falsifying the records so that it would appear he did check on Taylor. Another black mark on the Bexar County Jail–and this one resulted in an unnecessary death of a young man who, whatever his problems, was a father to his little girl and beloved of his whole family.



Mentally Ill Prisoners Suffer in San Antonio

Mar 25th, 2013 | By

by Matt Clarke, Prison Legal News, “Bexar County, Texas Fails to Properly Evaluate Mentally Ill Jail Prisoners”   In 2009 the Texas legislature amended a law, codified at Article 16.22 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, with the intent to require early identification of mentally ill jail prisoners so they can receive appropriate treatment and



Texas Jail Project Challenges Bexar County Jail

Mar 6th, 2013 | By

Our request for records from the Bexar County Jail revealed how a jail can gouge when it comes to the price of public information. TJP’s director describes the situation. “The whole point of getting this information was to help a family find out what happened to their son in the last hours of his life,” Claitor, who heads the nonprofit reform-minded Texas Jail Project, told the Current. “Essentially, it felt like a way of blocking the release of this information.”