Smith County

Voices from Solitary: Pregnant in Prison, Birth in Shackles

Oct 31st, 2015 | By

In 2008, the federal Bureau of Prisons passed a policy prohibiting the use of restraints on women in custody who are in labor, delivery or postpartum recovery. In 2009, Texas passed a law banning the use of shackles on incarcerated pregnant women during labor, delivery and postpartum recovery. But, as both the ACLU of Texas and the Texas Jail Project have found, for women in the state’s prisons, mental hospitals, and county jails, the law has not always been put into practice.



See you on the other side, Robert

Dec 29th, 2014 | By

Robert Rowan was born Aug 27, 1987, and he was a great man. He loved his family with all his heart. He loved to be out on the boat with his cousin William. He enjoyed working on cars, riding dirt bikes, riding back roads, having a cold beer and just enjoying life.
There is not a day that goes by that we don’t think about Robert.
His death was something that should not have happened.



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?



Smith County Inmates Farm for County

Jun 26th, 2013 | By
Smith County Inmates Farm for County

Hope this Smith County program is as good as it sounds here. Let’s hear from staff and former inmates on how it’s going!

“Smith County Jail inmates are out this week, doing some farm work to help the hungry in the community.A joint effort between the Smith County Sheriff’s office and the East Texas Food Bank allows inmates to pick vegetables, with 100% of the going to needy families. The garden, which was opened in 2010, provides fresh, nutritious vegetables to over 100,000 East Texans.”