TCJS website states Angelina County Jail back in compliance with state standards

TCJS website states Angelina County Jail back in compliance with state standards

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - An inspector for the Texas Commission on Jail Standards found the Angelina County Jail to be non-compliant with the minimum standards back in March.

However, as of Monday afternoon, the Angelia County Jail had been taken off of the state agency's list of non-compliant jails.

"Everything has been taken care of," said Thomas Strickland, the assistant warden of the Angelina County Jail. "Most of it was paperwork that wasn't done properly."

According to the TCJS report East Texas News obtained Monday, the Angelina County Jail was non-compliant in several different areas including regular observations of the detox cell, tuberculosis screening, mental health screening, and facility maintenance.

The TCJS website listed Angelina County as one of 18 Texas counties which have non-compliant jails Monday morning. The website also stated that once a county gets its jail back into compliance with the rules and regulations outlined in Texas Administrative Code, Title 37, Part 9, it will be removed from the list immediately.

The inspection stated that, according to Texas law, jail staff members are supposed to check on inmates who are being held in a holding or detoxification cell every 30 minutes. When the TCJS inspector observed the Angelina County Jail back in March, he found that jail staff exceeded that limit by as much as 45 minutes.

The report also stated the Angelina County Jail's tuberculosis screening plan was not approved by the Texas Department of Health within the last year. Strickland said that was merely an oversight that stemmed from paperwork that didn't get done after the jail's leadership changed recently.

In addition, the jail standards outline procedures for jailers to screen for inmates who are "known to be mentally disabled and/or potentially suicidal." According to the report, the TCJS inspector found that staff members at the Angelina County Jail were not checking the Continuous Care Query for verification when the result was a "possible match."

"This inspector confirmed several possible matches and found that the administration did not notify the magistrate according to CCP Art 16.22 during the review as required," the inspection report stated. However, Strickland said jail staff members started notifying the magistrates that the checks were being conducted during the March inspection.

The report also stated that counties are required to do preventative maintenance to their jails to ensure a "safe, secure, and sanitary facility." Along those lines, the report stated that the doors for six cells in the jail's B Block did not open and close remotely as designed.

"Doors would try to close on their own after being slid open," the report stated. "The doors have to be kept locked open."

The cells are currently being used as a "trusty tank," Strickland said. He added they have scheduled repairs for the cell doors.

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