County Jail Info
Current Minimum Texas County Jail Standards: http://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=3&ti=37&pt=9
Submit Proposed Changes to Minimum Standards Online: http://www.tcjs.state.tx.us/propose_standards.php
County Jail Complaints and Inquiries:
Medical Releases: How to Check On An Inmates’ Medical Condition http://www.texasjailproject.org/medical_release_form/
List of Texas County Jails with contact information: http://www.texasjailproject.org/list_of_county_jails/
How to Get Records or Documents From County Jails: http://www.texasjailproject.org/a-sample-freedom-of-information-letter/
Texas Jail Project links to resources, grievances, and other useful website: http://www.texasjailproject.org/resources/
VINELink (vinelink.com): the online version of VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday). You can obtain timely and reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders 24 hours a day. Includes a comprehensive list of internet links and toll-free numbers for victim services and resources in all 50 states.
Contact the STATE REPRESENTATIVE and/or SENATOR for your district and tell them about problems and situations with your jail or the jail administration. To find out who represents your area, go to this website: Who Represents Me? All you have to do is type in your address and zip code to find out who your elected representative is and how to contact them:
Two state agencies with oversight over the jails:
Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments (TCOOMMI) A special state agency that studies the treatment or lack of treatment of county jail inmates and that oversees continuity of care. They are especially helpful when an inmate is not receiving treatment for mental illness. Email: email@example.com
Texas Civil Rights Project ‘Prisoners’ Rights: http://www.texascivilrightsproject.org/programs-and-services/prisoners-rights/
Texas Jail Project:
OTHER GROUPS THAT INVESTIGATE OR PROVIDE ADVICE ABOUT COUNTY JAILS
- ACLU of Texas– They used to have a Prison and Jail Accountability Project, and they are not investigating or suing on behalf of prisoners in the state of Texas any more as of 2014. Matt Simpson, ACLU policy strategist, does still monitor and evaluate the standards for county jails, and he frequently brings issues to the attention of the the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
- Disability Rights Texas – works to protect and advance the civil rights of people with disabilities–a caegory that includes people with mental disorders as well as physical problems and disabilities. They can help when rights have been violated and they seek to ensure that people with disabilities have access to information about their rights. Every individual is guaranteed certain rights under the United States Constitution, the Texas Constitution and other laws. Some of these rights include:
- The right to reasonably safe conditions of confinement, including access to adequate medical care and rehabilitation services
- The right to refuse medication and unwanted medical treatment
Read their contact page to find out numbers and times to call them.
- Texas Appleseed– Texas Appleseed’s mission is to promote social and economic justice for all Texans by leveraging the skills and resources of volunteer lawyers and other professionals to identify practical solutions to difficult systemic problems. While it focuses on many worthwhile reforms, Texas Appleseed intersects with needs of jail inmates by providing for high quality legal representation of persons with mental illness or mental retardation — providing resources for judges and attorneys, handbooks for these defendants and their families, and support for communities to create mental health public defender offices.
Texas Civil Rights Project – 1405 Montopolis Drive, Austin, TX 78741 OFFICE: 512-474-5073 ext. 105 (To see if they can help you with a case, you have to call on a Thursday, 2 to 4 p.m., for initial conversation and screening; they have limited staff.)