Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Feds concerned about healthcare and violence at the Harris County Jail

The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice didn't have much good to say about the Harris County Jail in their report issued on June 4, 2009. The county came under heavy criticism for the inadequate level of healthcare provided and for use of excessive force against detainees. The report noted that the Department had "serious concerns about the use of force at the jail."

The report pointed out the following deficiencies:
  • The jail failed "to provide consistent and adequate care for detainees with serious chronic medical conditions."
  • The jail provides inadequate housing for detainees with mental health issues as well as inadequate access to mental health care.
  • The jail "lacks a minimally adequate system for deterring excessive use of force and an adequate plan for a large and sometimes violent detainee population
  • The jail lacks "certain necessary structured maintenance, sanitation and fire safety programs."

Harris Co. jail report height="500" width="100%" rel="media:document" resource="http://d.scribd.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=16232548&access_key=key-23065ahfcuop905maxks&page=1&version=1&viewMode=" xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/searchmonkey/media/" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" > value="http://d.scribd.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=16232548&access_key=key-23065ahfcuop905maxks&page=1&version=1&viewMode="> Harris Co. jail report editorial_online5191

On the plus side, however, the Department was quite pleased that the county provided written policies and procedures.

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