For minor offenses, police here jailed poor people for a week or more without adequate food, showers or medication, the South Texas Civil Rights Project alleged in a lawsuit against the city Tuesday.The suit raises once again the lack of regulation at Texas municipal jails:
The complaint was filed in federal court in Brownsville on behalf of two plaintiffs who say they were hospitalized for deplorable conditions, including a bologna sandwich that gave one food poisoning.
Adan Munoz, executive director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, said the state regulatory agency had no authority over city jails.
“City jails are just kind of out there,” he said.
Munoz said an interim study regarding state oversight of municipal jails got set aside as Austin lawmakers turned their focus to the statewide budget gap.These allegations come on the heels of the TX Court of Criminal Appeals overturning a conviction on "actual innocence" grounds regarding false allegations by a jailer against an inmate at the Brownsville city jail. These Cameron County lockups are virtual poster children for the need to regulate municipal jails.
RELATED: Scandalous state of city jails unlikely to change any time soon.