Friday, January 15, 2021

When the jail is full, Sheriff, what you gonna do?

Grits noticed the bad news that the Harris County Jail population has ballooned back up near capacity, as reported by Gabby Banks at the Houston Chronicle. Rather than a detailed policy analysis, which I've been offering up on this blog for a decade-and-a-half when it comes to the Harris County Jail, let's change things up on a Friday afternoon and present a few lines of verse, instead:

When the jail is full, Oh Sheriff, what you gonna do?

The cops they keep on bringing them but the courts don't pass them through.

Crime is low, arrests are down, but the seams are bustin' through.

Say, when the jail is full, Sheriff, then what you gonna do?

My cousin the jailer says their numbers' sinking low. 

The state says 1 to 48, but it's harder than they know.

'Cause COVID stopped the jury trials so teeming multitudes

Now wait out the winter months behind those bars so rude.

Oh, when the jail is full Sheriff, hey, what you gonna do?

I hear dozens of jailers are now out. Is it the flu?

And all this so some lawyers can feign verisimilitude,

Instead of just releasing folks till their day in court is due.


  1. Grits, is that supposed to be sung to the tune of Janis' "Mercedes"? I"m kind of hearing it ...

  2. Just a bit of mental flotsam, but if you can make it fit, go for it! :)

  3. Grits, I'll see what I can do. Last fall, after all, I did an (albeit easy) takeoff on Don't Fear the Reaper.

  4. "Somebody bad filled up Baker Street
    Somebody bad filled up Baker Street
    Somebody bad filled up Baker Street
    But the sheriff sure don’t have any say in that!"

    Forgive me, Eartha Kitt! And yeah, I know that's ancient music.

  5. What tune is this supposed to be set for?

  6. Grits, with some adaptation of your original, my blog post for Monday will take care of you.

  7. Oh, bonus. I'll be throwing Kim Ogg under the bus in my piece, too.

  8. Lee,
    "Somebody Bad Stole the Wedding Bell"

    Check out Eartha Kitt's performance in the 1950s. A favorite of my dad.

  9. Diana, will ck it out; Gadfly, looking forward to it.

    @Lee, no tune, really. I tend to write lyrics first then (maybe) come up w/ a melody later, and this was just a brain fart. Unlike, say, the Brian Manley "No Confidence" jingle, there's no larger product forthcoming; just an excuse to do a little less policy work on a Friday afternoon, and to think of how many words I could rhyme with "verisimilitude." ;)

  10. What's up with Tarrant County????

    Conduct a County Specific Data and Cost Analysis

  11. Grits and all, here you go! Sing it, Janis:

  12. "Crime is low, arrests are down, but the seams are bustin' through"

    There's no way you can live in Harris County. Comparisons of the skyrocketing crime rate to that of Chicago's is no longer an exaggeration.