Overcrowding in Cameron County jails costing tax payers
Fri, 23 Sep 2011 23:46:18 GMT —
There are over 1,400 inmates at the Cameron County Jail.
The law states that there must be one jailer for every 48 inmates.
But according to Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos, the jail has too many inmates and not enough jailers.
"We are in non compliance if it continues to be a chronic problem, the jail commissioners have the authority to come in and shut the jail down" said Judge Carlos Cascos.
The county is being forced to transport some inmates to Corpus Christi, which is costing taxpayers and the county thousands of dollars.
One reason Judge Cascos said there isn't enough jailers is pay and a test they must pass.
"Being a jailer is a tough job, it takes a special person to be a jailer, to be able to handle the abuse that you face daily" said Judge Cascos.
Action 4 News spoke to Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio who confirms 80 inmates have been moved to Corpus Christi.
He said he recognizes there's an issue, but said it TMs the job of the district judges and the district attorney to move the inmates.
"We have brought it to their attention, but they are elected officials and if they don TMt do it, there is nothing I can do said Sheriff Omar Lucio. That creates a problem for everybody".
Sheriff Lucio said they will soon open a new wing for the jail in hopes the overcrowding issue will be alleviated.
But that too will impact taxpayers.
To help with the overcrowding the district attorney's office is releasing minor offenders.
The county plans to meet next Thursday on this issue and hopes to have a resolution.