Guards are being forced to work excessive overtime and will continue to steadily quit as their morale hits all-time lows, the consequence of cutting 100 positions at the Bexar County Jail through attrition, warns Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz.
But ask county commissioners and County Manager David Smith, and they'll tell you the mandatory overtime is unnecessary, the jail is mismanaged and wastes money, and the 2012 budget cuts reflect the actual needs at the facility.
Conflicting views of the jail aren't new in Bexar County, but a new staffing analysis by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, the state jail oversight agency, is expected next month and could bring the two sides closer.
“We have no vested interest as a third party,” said TCJS Executive Director Adan Muñoz. “Our only concern is: Can you get enough people to show up when you need them to? We do this routinely for jails, and it usually amounts to a difference of opinion between commissioners courts and sheriffs' offices.”
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Bexar commissioners wonder why 1,000 fewer prisoners in jail brings no budget savings
Grits wrote on Sunday that it's "almost becoming the norm in Texas jails to understaff them considerably and make up the difference paying overtime at time-and-a-half." I was writing about the jail in Midland, but the same thing's going on, reports the SA Express News ("Disputes over jail staffing may move closer to resolution," Dec. 20) at the Bexar County Jail in San Antonio, much to the commissioners court's consternation. The story opens: