The Ector County Detention Center passed its yearly inspect by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, which means the jail was found to be in compliance with jail standards for the next year.
An Ector County Sheriff’s Office news release said the inspection was conducted Feb. 12 at the Ector County Detention Center, 2500 S. Highway 385.
ECSO Operations Lt. Jesus Abalos said the jail is inspected yearly, required only to meet the minimum standards required by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
Abalos said the standards required to be met for the jail involve documentation on how the jail functions. These documents show proof that the jail is ensuring functioning of utilities like cell lights and intercoms, as well as documentation on disciplinary reports, inmate recreation, safety and fire drills, food service, plumbing and the sanitation of cells.
Other standards include insuring the daily inmate population does not exceed 667 inmates, Abalos added, and the medical health records of inmates.
While the jail was found compliant this year, Abalos said the jail has previously been found noncompliant during inspections twice before in 2014 for improper documentation of round checks in booking holding cells, and in 2015 for improper documentation of mental health records.
Since taking the office at the beginning of 2017, Mike Griffis has kept the jail in compliance for his entire term, minus one incident in April of 2017 that was resolved almost immediately.
A pair of deputies left an inmate in an Ector County Courthouse holding cell, considered tantamount to losing a prisoner by state jail standards.
The commission cited Ector County for leaving an inmate for more than eight hours in a holding cell, failing to check on him every 30 minutes and making him go without a meal for more than 14 hours. That issue was resolved within two weeks of the jail being found noncompliant.
Brandon Wood, Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, said when a jail is found in noncompliance to minimum jail standards, they would be issued a notice of noncompliance and required to submit a corrective plan of action addressing the items not meeting standards. After receiving approval of the plan, they must notify the commission when they have completed their actions.
Should they stay in noncompliance for too long, Wood said, they may be required to vacate a portion of the jail, or vacate the entire jail until they get everything fixed.
“We don’t levy a fine, but oftentimes it requires the county to spend money,” Wood said.