Receive alerts from your local agencies
...or text your ZIP CODE to 888777 for mobile alerts

Full Notification

Harris County Sheriff's Office
Friday March 28th, 2014 :: 11:03 a.m. CDT


Harris County Jail system approved by Texas Commission on Jail Standards for fifth consecutive year

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards today found the Harris County Jail system to be in full compliance with state regulations for the fifth year in a row.

A team of six commission inspectors examined all aspects of the jail throughout this week before recertifying the facilities for another year.

The inspections included inmate housing in downtown Houston, booking and releasing operations and holding cells in the adjacent Harris County Criminal Justice Center. They covered fire and life safety, record-keeping, medical facilities, sanitation, hygiene, food service, chaplaincy programs, inmate telephone use and other aspects.

Inspectors particularly praised the jail's medical services for inmates, saying that impromptu interviews with inmates yielded zero complaints about their care.

Jail Commission Assistant Director Shannon Herklotz said the staff's accountability and openness with inspectors about all jail operations were exemplary.

"Ten or 12 years ago it wasn't always that way," Herklotz told Sheriff Adrian Garcia and about 50 staff members in a meeting this morning. "You've upped the ante."

Sheriff Garcia took office in 2009. The jail system was found to be out of compliance with state regulations throughout 2004-2006 and briefly in 2009.

Today's inspection included the finding that the jail is not overcrowded.
Today's county jail inmate population is 8,517. The jail has a building capacity of 9,434 and the Jail Commission permits Harris County to use an additional 680 "temporary beds" if needed.

The jail population peaked at 12,014 inmates in 2008. With the reduction in the number of inmates housed, there has been no corresponding increase in the number of crimes committed in Harris County.

Sheriff Garcia credited his staff with earning approval of the jail commission. Unlike the HCSO's patrol deputies and other first responders, the more than 1,700 members of the jail staff do their tough jobs beyond public notice, he said.

"As I said last year when we passed inspection, our jail staff is our hidden heroes," the sheriff added. "Keeping criminals and alleged criminals inside the jail in an orderly fashion that meets all of our constitutional obligations is as important as front-line work on the streets."

Chief Deputy Fred Brown is the sheriff's jail administrator. Dr. Michael Seale directs inmate medical care.

"We'll see you sometime next year," Herklotz, the jail commission assistant director, said. "And I'm not telling you when."

See something? Say something!

iWatchHarrisCounty is the HCSO’s free mobile phone app that allows the public to report suspicious persons and/or activity anonymously, anywhere, any time.

For more information please visit

We watch Harris County and so should you.

Harris County Sheriff's Office
1200 Baker St
Houston, TX 77002

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 713-221-6000

Navigate & Discover