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Attorneys Representing Police Misconduct Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for police misconduct injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by police miscponduct.

Brooks County Jail is Cited by TCJS for Alleged Jail Standards Violations

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Brooks County Courthouse in Falfurrias, Texas (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

The Brooks County Detention Center in Falfurrias, Texas, has been cited by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) for two alleged violations. Details of the jail inspection report are below. Jails have a duty to keep inmates, staff members, and others safe. Specific guidelines are provided, and they help to protect the rights of individuals who are incarcerated. Laws in Texas changed on June 15, 2017, which put additional safeguards in place on behalf of individuals who have been arrested and are mentally disabled and/or potentially suicidal. Those changes are part of the Sandra Bland Act, which is legislation that has been signed into law. It is named after Sandra Bland, who died in Waller County Jail on July 13, 2015. She committed suicide in a jail cell there three days after being arrested for an alleged minor traffic violation and getting into a confrontation with the police officer who pulled her over. Audio and dashcam video captured what happened, and it went viral, creating public outrage across the country.

Because of the new Texas law, jail staff members are required to take new actions on behalf of inmates with mental health issues of some kind, including being at risk for committing suicide. For example, a judge must be informed by the local sheriff’s department within 12 hours when an inmate is potentially mentally disabled or suffering from a mental health problem.

The way jail staff members determine whether inmates are at risk is by following certain intake screening procedures.

According to inspectors with TCJS, Brooks County Jail Mental Health / Suicide Screening Forms were reviewed. Multiple violations were allegedly found in which the supervisor, magistrate and/or mental health authority were not notified as required. Forms showed that no notations were made indicating that any notifications about at-risk inmates had been made by jail staff.

The other alleged violation of jail standards was the Brooks County Jail did not comply with the requirement that the facility be inspected every year by a local fire official.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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