Tuesday, May 22, 2007


According to the Bexar County State Legislative Program, 80th Session, a reduction in the county jail is top priority. The report explains that many offenders or inmates prefer staying in the local jail as opposed to incarceration at a state facility. Obvious reasons are closer to family and the notion of county jails are more comfortable. Therefore, many convicted felons are filing appeals for frivolous reasons allowing the offenders to continue their stay in local jails until time expires on their sentences. Statistics are not available for accuracy of this report. As one can read, the outcome can create overcrowding in jails which cause a backlash with the courts releasing violators on bond to reduce inmate population. These seasoned criminals remain in the community having already failed the trust of the court by violating the rules and/or breaking the law.

The financial impact on local county budgets have brought about another push to release violators. This in turn has brought about discussion on a concept not known by many. The Parole Violators-Blue Warrants allow county magistrates to release parolees on administrative parole violations awaiting a parole hearing. According to Section 508.254, Government Code, currently requires parolees in custody shall remain in custody pending a hearing for parole violations. The push to release these inmates in the community due to cost savings outweigh the risks involved with parole violators in the community.

Protection of the community seems to have taken a back seat for this local jail administrator. Closing the loopholes with the appellate process and concentrating on releasing first time non-violent offenders should take precedence over releasing proven felon violators. It will be interesting to hear from those officers in Bexar County as to alternate solutions to reduce jail overcrowding.

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