Terry County Jail fails state inspections - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/21/10

Terry County Jail fails state inspections

By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) –   The state commission that inspects jails gives the Terry County Detention Center two failing grades. The Terry County Sheriff has a plan of action to make the deficient areas right.  Inspectors with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards found problems during a yearly surprise inspection last week, and a routine inspection back in June the day after two inmates escaped.

"We have some problems but we are working on them," said Sheriff Larry Gilbreath about the jail he oversees. He received a list of deficient areas after an unannounced jail inspection last week. The inspector found the jail could not prove they watched inmates correctly or provide the paper work they received a proper fire inspection. They also said inmates were put together that should not have been.

The inspection report also indicates the jail was not as clean as it should be. "We have some paper work and personnel issues that we are working on," added Gilbreath who believes it is an issue that his staff is tackling.

"If it is not documented then to us it did not happen," said Adam Munoz, the executive director of the Commission on Jail Standards based in Austin. The commission inspected the jail back in June, just one day after two inmates escaped through an air vent. During that visit, inspectors discovered that the number one problem was that the two inmates who escaped were classified improperly according to Munoz.

The inspector's report found the inmates were not checked on as documented and they should not have been in the same pod to begin with because one was behind bars for a misdemeanor and the other attempted murder. It is a problem the commission found in June and again in July.

"I believe there is no other explanation other then it had not been done yet," said Munoz.

"We've already trained the jailers on the new classification process that will take care of problems like this," said Gilbreath. Part of the new plan is mandatory inmate checks twice an hour, but Gilbreath assures the public the jail is safe.

"It sounds bad for a jail to fail inspection. It's not the first time, but it is a first for me. I take it personal and I feel like we are implementing procedures to correct all the issues," said Gilbreath who plans to send his action plan to Austin next week. If the commission comes back to Brownfield, and finds that the necessary corrections were not made they can bill Terry County for the expense of the inspection, but there are no other fines. 

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