Harris County inmates sent to Louisiana Jail to ensure Texas regulations can be met

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) – Hundreds of inmates from the Harris County Jail were taken to Louisiana on Thursday as the sheriff tries to ensure Texas regulations can be followed in the building.

In November, state prison inspectors found the Harris County Jail in violation of state standards and noted a tense and hostile environment inside the jail. It happened days after a prison staff member was allegedly brutally sexually assaulted by an inmate in his prison office. ABC13 reported other assaults inside the prison around the same time.

SEE RELATED STORY: Harris County Sergeant Brutally Assaulted and Sexually Assaulted by Inmate, Sheriff’s Office Says

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards has ordered Sheriff Ed Gonzalez to come up with a corrective plan. As part of this, 192 inmates from the county were transferred to a prison in the parish of Lasalle, Louisiana.

SEE RELATED: 2 Harris County Detention Officers Attacked in Jail, Authorities Say

The prison is northeast of Alexandria, about five hours from Houston. The sheriff’s office told ABC13 that about 300 more inmates would follow in the next few days, all of which would be paid for by Harris County taxpayers.

The sheriff’s office said the transferred detainees are almost all male awaiting trial in “generally acceptable health with court dates set at around 40 to 45 days.” Inmates at high risk or in special circumstances will not be eligible for transfer.

ABC13 was informed that this was an effort to reduce the population and give prison staff a chance to come into compliance.

SEE MORE: Harris County Jail Inspection Report Shows Disturbing Staff Shortage Affecting Inmates And Staff

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