Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Texas Board Can Shut Jails Down.

Byline: Stories by Mike Gallagher Journal Investigative Reporter

Paying for Time

* Inspectors visit every Texas unit at least once a year to make sure it meets standards

LUBBOCK The Texas Jail Standards Commission was formed by the state Legislature in 1975 because many jails across the state were operating under the supervision of federal courts.

"The commission was created to help keep jails out of federal court," said executive director Terry Julian. "Its formation was backed by a wide variety of civic and religious organizations, liberal and conservative."

Texas is one of more than 30 states with a system of setting minimum jail standards and inspections. But only in Texas did legislators give the inspection agency the authority to go to court to shut a jail down.

It is a big stick that has been used only once in recent years.

And the commission has been successful. …

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