COVID-19 Is Pummeling Crowded Texas Jails, Including In Bexar County
As COVID-19 rages and populations rise, jails are struggling to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. And when they do occur, facilities have trouble keeping sick inmates separate from others in the general population.
Local jails across Texas are filling up with inmates ready to be sent to state prisons. At the Bexar County Jail, nearly 400 inmates set to be transferred to the state system have yet to be picked up. What's the issue?
How many positive cases have been reported in San Antonio-area jails? What's being done to contain the spread of COVID-19 among inmates and staff? Are jail outbreaks a threat to the outside community?
What rights do inmates have amid the pandemic? What kind of treatment are they receiving when ill?
How have local and state jail operations been otherwise affected by the public health crisis? What strategies could be implemented to improve the status quo?
- Nelson Wolff, Bexar County Judge
- Ron Rangel, Judge of the Texas 379th District Court
- Michele Deitch, senior lecturer at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the School of Law at The University of Texas at Austin
- Philip Cortez, Texas State Representative, District 117
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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, August 5.