Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Will new bureaucracy stop abhorrent Harris jail conditions?

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia says he's fired 249 people since taking office five years ago and expects the number to rise following an investigation of a mentally ill inmate left alone and untended. The Houston Chronicle reported that the incident spurred Garcia to create a new "jail compliance bureau" to monitor conditions.

I'd be curious to learn how many of those firings survived the civil service arbitration process? The Harris County Sheriff is the only county sheriff's office in the state covered by Ch. 143 of the state civil service code, so the Sheriff saying "you're fired" like Donald Trump isn't the final word.

Creating a new "bureau" on jail conditions might work to the extent the problem was mere negligence. If, as Grits thinks likely, this was a case where retaliation was sanctioned by supervisors against an inmate who hit a guard, those folks will find a way to get around any monitoring. E.g., having lieutenants instead of sergeants do "quality of life checks" may be a fine suggestion, but three lieutenants, a captain, a major and two chief deputies all knew what was happening to Terry Goodwin and it didn't make a difference.

Systems are important but the same human beings as before will operate them, excepting only the ones whose names Garcia successfully tacks on to the list of 249.

1 comment:

rodsmith said...

only if it's made up of people who have NO connection with either the crooked politicians or the criminal's running the jail and they have the legal authority to both stop any illegal action they see and the ability to arrest and bring charges against the individuals.

Otherwise it's just another criminal rip off by our criminal gov't