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Smith County Jail placed on non-compliant list

This comes after a June inspection by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

SMITH COUNTY, Texas — Smith County Jail has been placed on the non-compliant list by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) after failing multiple points of inspection.

According to a TCJS report, new facilities, new additions and major renovations to existing facilities shall be equipped with an emergency back-up generator designed to operate both manually and automatically upon interruption of the primary electrical power.

Back-up power will be provided equipment and life safety systems including:

  • Emergency illumination systems
  • Exit lights
  • Smoke management systems
  • Fire detection and alarm systems
  • Audible communication systems
  • Security/control systems
  • Normal ventilation systems required for smoke detection

The smoke management system failed to operate while under emergency power, according to the TCJS report.

The report also shows that the jail left multiple property records blank and they were also missing signatures from the receiving officer and inmate.

According to the TCJS, receiving officers shall carefully record and store inmate’s property as it is taken, and a receipt signed by the receiving officer and inmate shall be maintained in the inmate’s file.

Inmates were also not provided a change of clothes once a week and washable items are not exchanged at least once a week.

A change of clothing shall be furnished at least once a week unless work, climatic conditions, illness, or other factors necessitate more frequent exchange to assure cleanliness, according to the TCJS. Also, washable items such as sheets, towels, and mattress covers shall be exchanged for clean replacements at least once a week, or more often if necessary.

It was also found that multiple inmate rules acknowledgement forms were found to be blank and missing inmate signatures. A written acknowledgement by the inmate that the rules have been explained shall be retained, according to the TCJS.

The report also found inmate grievances are not handled in accordance with the approved grievance plan.

Read the full report from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards here.

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