San Antonio Current writer Michael Barajas is leaving the paper and pursuing other goals, and we will miss his throrough coverage of issues related to inmates in the jails of San Antonio. This last story reveals so much about the inner workings of an understaffed and dysfunctional jail that it reads like a book, but Barajas also does a smpathetic and intelligent analysis of a young man’s life and tragic death. We can hope that Tommy Taylor’s seven hours in the jail will lead to a better jail, but we also have to hope the Current finds a reporter/writer who can cover stories with the passion Barajas brought to these cases.
Posts Tagged ‘ guards and jailers ’
Texas Jail Project and others protested in San Antonio last fall, to call attention to the death of Tommy Taylor who died in the Bexar County Jail just six hours after turning himself in, August 21, 2012. Now comes a San Antonio Current story that a jailer did not do the mandatory cell check–jailers are required to check on “isolated inmates” in solitary cells every 30 minutes–and that might well have saved Taylor’s life. Jailer Ernesto Flores is accused of hiding that fact by falsifying the records so that it would appear he did check on Taylor. Another black mark on the Bexar County Jail–and this one resulted in an unnecessary death of a young man who, whatever his problems, was a father to his little girl and beloved of his whole family.
The young nurse working at the Montague County jail was recently charged with fraternizing with an inmate and smuggling tobacco to him. She works for a private contractor named Southern Health Partners: it’s a good bet that the pay from the contractor is low and the hours long. She isn’t working in ideal conditions and her patients aren’t always easy to deal with.
Now let’s look at the company: Southern Health Partners was contracted to provide medical care for the people held here. Since January 1, 2012 to last week, I counted 77 lawsuits filed against them, in states across the south. While nurses have to be held accountable, let’s hope that the county and the people of the county also keep a very close watch on how well this medical provider does their job in Montague County.
By Celinda Emison, May 24, 2011, Abilene Reporter News A class-action lawsuit targeting Taylor County Sheriff Les Bruce and other jail employees has been filed in federal court by several former inmates and the families of two inmates who died at the county jail. The suit alleges that inmates were routinely denied medical treatment and
A Texas Ranger investigation actually finds a jail and its staff responsible for the death of a person in their custody, due to lack of medical care! This outcome is rare and Texas Jail Project is relieved to see it happen. Even more importantly, the Nacogdoches Commissioners Court took steps to prevent other deaths by creating a new position who will advise jailers on procedures and practices to follow when dealing with ill or injured inmates. We hope that people in Nacogdoches County will let us know if there is any improvement in the medical care in that jail.
When Sheriff Garcia stated that more work has to be done to address jailing of the mentally ill, he said a mouthful. But that statement is little consolation to those whose family member dies in that jail.
Texas Jail Project has been monitoring the number of complaints and calls for help from inmates inside Dallas County Jail, and the numbers are down. This week, one mother in California who was worried about her son reported that she was relieved to hear her son had received treatment for the flu that many inmates have right now. This is good news, but we still look for more improvement, since the #1 search term used most often on the Texas Jail Project website is Lew Sterritt, the name of the Dallas county jail – and that’s because a lot of people are looking for information and help in dealing with this jail.
The Abilene Reporter ran a piece at the end of February providing a forum for Sheriff Les Bruce (above left) in which he describes the superiority of the Abliene jailers over Houston jailers and says they committ very few “errors.” TJP’s Director– and many citizens in Abllene–beg to differ. Read Claitor’s comment she posted at the newspaper.
I remember when Beverly wrote me about her husband, and how sick and sad I felt when I learned her husband Lisandro had died in that jail. She had also written the Commission on Jail Standards and they were no help either. Here is what she said back in 2010:
“I wrote you about my husband to you over a month ago, he died due to lack of medical care. . . his name was Lisandro Torres and we have a 16 yr old son. The jail maintained until his death he was faking after a massive stroke and was having problems breathing, chest pain, could’nt swallow and was tormented by several jailers and nurses. Nobody would listen and still wont but he sent me the proof three weeks before he died and over 100 letters [about what was happening.]“
9/24/2011 4:28 PM By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau GALVESTON – A paralyzed inmate with Texas Department of Criminal Justice alleges his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act have been violated since he was first incarcerated. In a $2 million lawsuit filed Sept. 16 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas, Donald Ray