May Meeting Recap
By Burnet County Judge Donna Klaeger, TCJS Chairman
At its May meeting, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (Commission) welcomed new member Allan Cain, who was recently appointed by Gov. Rick Perry.
As per Government Code 511.0091, Texas Minimum Jail Standards, Chapter 300, the Commission set the fee schedule to recover the cost of performing designated services for municipal jails operated for a municipality by a private vendor, or county jails, whether financed, purchased, designed, constructed, leased, operated, maintained, or managed for the county by a private vendor or provided by the county.
The 2010 rate for fees were approved for the next fiscal year for the following services to the facilities noted above (no increase):
1. Review and comment on construction documents;
2. Performance of occupancy inspections;
3. Performance of annual inspections;
4. Performance of technical assistance;
5. Re-inspection of a facility.
For more complete information, visit the Texas Commission on Jail Standards website, www.tcjs.state.tx.us.
In addition, the Commission staff reported that as of April 1, the total population in Texas county jails increased by 780 from the previous month. The statewide capacity increased by 12 due to Nueces County completing a renovation. County jails are now collectively operating at 71.38 percent of capacity.
As of April 1, two jails were at 100 percent or more of capacity. On April 1, 447 TDCJ-ISF/halfway house inmates were housed in county facilities. In addition, local facilities were housing 60 out-of-state inmates (New Mexico and Arkansas) in three facilities. The total number of contract inmates (county, federal, TDCJ and out-of-state) was 10,686.
TCJS-specific bills that have been introduced in the 82nd Legislature were discussed. TCJS will communicate all changes to the counties through TAC, CUC, and the jail administrators’ listservs, as well as direct correspondence to county officials. A review will be held at the August Commission meeting, which is set for Aug. 4.