By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – A statewide report on jail non-compliance issues found the Tyler County Justice Center to be in violation, according to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
The violation which resulted in a notice of non-compliance was due to the facility exceeding its maximum capacity daily from the period of August 28, 2023 to Sept. 5, 2023. Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford said that a complaint from an inmate, which was submitted to the jail standards commission, resulted in the discovery that caused the violation.
“It was discovered that at least one inmate was housed without a bunk, with their mattress on the floor,” Weatherford said.
At present, Tyler County has housing contracts with neighboring Jasper, Hardin and Polk counties, as well as San Jacinto County, for overflow of inmates.
Tyler County was one of 23 jails on the agency’s non-compliance list and is listed as a “special” case. The violation report notes that the inspection report, which was issued on Oct. 4, was a violation of the state jail requirement that all multiple occupancy cells shall contain two to eight bunks and not less than 40 square feet of clear floor space for the first bunk, plus 18 square feet of clear floor space for each additional bunk.
Weatherford said that as sheriff, he “will never apologize for placing too many criminals where they belong,” and noted that neighboring East Texas counties “indicate that my neighboring East Texas sheriffs feel the same.”
The Commission on Jail Standards keeps an ongoing list of county jails with violation issues posted to its website, and the agency removes the non-compliant jails immediately upon their attaining compliance.