After failing to meet state standards in past years, the Bexar County jail passed this year’s state inspections, said the sheriff’s office Friday.

Annual inspections by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards began Tuesday at the Bexar County Adult Detention Center, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. 

“Although a few areas for improvement were noted, overall, I consider this a resounding success,” said Sheriff Javier Salazar, adding that the full report would be available and made public in the “coming days.” 

Overcrowding and understaffing have been persistent issues at the facility, which regularly holds as many as 4,000 inmates or more. Bexar County commissioners approved more than $13 million in overtime for jail staff in fiscal year 2021.

Salazar has been working to improve jail operations since 2019, when the jail failed inspections in February and in May because of issues including record-keeping of inmate recreational activity, using nonsworn employees in intake and release inmates, and the system used to classify them. 

By November 2019, the jail was back in compliance with state standards despite the death of nine inmates in custody, six of whom died while the jail was noncompliant with state commission standards.

Both the sheriff’s department and county commissioners hired consultants in October 2021 to address issues at the third-largest jail in the state by evaluating the facility’s operations and making recommendations for improvements. 

 

Raquel Torres

Raquel Torres is the San Antonio Report's breaking news reporter. She previously worked at the Tyler Morning Telegraph and is a 2020 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University.