What is the difference between state jail and county jail in Texas?

Dec 21st, 2010 | By | Category: Conditions in County Jails

This sounds like a good answer to that question, from a former correctional officer named Bill G on a blog called INYO County Sheriff Talks.
December 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm
A state jail facility is run by, or under contract to, the Texas Dept of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). A state jail facility is really not a jail. It is actually a minimum security prison facility, although it is not officially called that.
There is no one in a state jail facility who is awaiting trial, like in a county jail. Everyone in TDCJ custody is convicted, and serving a sentence.
A state jail felony is a non-violent fourth degree felony, with a sentence of 180 days to two years.

The TDCJ unit directory page lists all correctional facilities operated by, or under contract to, the state.

I worked at a private state jail facility, as well as two different state prisons, during my 4 1/2 years as a correctional officer.

Edit: Although state jail facilities are for,”non-violent fourth degree felons”, they are NOT necessarily less violent than any other prison in the state of Texas. I had plenty of use of force incidents at the state jail facility I was at, as well as the prisons I worked at…..


4 Comments to “What is the difference between state jail and county jail in Texas?”

  1. Rita says:

    When someone is sentenced to state jail does that mean when they serve their time there that they are done. Or do they have to do probation again when they get out?

  2. Carol L Creel says:

    Is prison the same as state jail?

    • admin says:

      Well, state jails are part of the prison system. The problem is that Texas used the term “state jails” and that confuses things. They are actually prisons run by the state of Texas.
      County jails are local, run by counties, mostly filled with people arrested but not yet convicted. See our front page article on this:

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