Is the Bexar County Jail One of Most Dangerous In Texas?
Thursday, two inmates at the Bexar County Adult Detention Center attempted to commit suicide within minutes of each other. This was not a pact or any other kind of agreement. The inmates were in two completely different parts of the jail. In both cases, deputies were able to interrupt the attempt. The KSAT article doesn’t mention if the second inmate, the one who appears to have gotten further along in his attempt, was taken to the hospital.
First Suicide Attempt
The first attempt was made by an inmate in the booking area. The inmate was in jail on a DWI charge. At 6:15 am a booking sergeant was walking around, making observation checks when he found the inmate attempting to hang himself. We don’t know what point in the booking process the inmate was at so we don’t know if he had already been seen by medical to evaluate his mental health. This inmate only had minor injuries
Second Suicide Attempt
The second attempted suicide happened at 6:29 am. The inmate involved in this attempt was already in a unit and was discovered by a deputy making his rounds. It appears, from the description in the article, that this inmate had already hung himself and was cut down by the deputy. Since this inmate was already in a unit, he would have been seen by medical staff. What happened?
Families Should Worry About Their Loved Ones
While we commend the deputies for doing an excellent job in saving these two inmates, we have to wonder why the jail is having so much of a problem with suicides and attempted suicides. This website was created with the intention of helping the family and friends of people who have been incarcerated in the Bexar County Jail. Our main focus has been to help people maneuver through the complex system since they get so little help anywhere else.
Because of our mission, we get to hear a lot about how worried people are for their loved ones who are in the Bexar Count Adult Detention Center and we feel they are right to be worried. The safety of Bexar County inmates, under Sheriff Javier Salazar’s administration, is of serious concern. We may have even surpassed Harris County, at least percentage wise, in how poorly he is managing and caring for the inmates.
It’s Obvious Where the Problem Is
We do understand that a huge part of the problem is the shortage of staff at the jail. But we feel that too, can be laid on Sheriff Salazar’s shoulders. He has made one poor decision after another. He has admitted to making policy for the booking area and admitted that he has no training on how to run the jail, which means he shouldn’t be making policy. There have only been two training classes for new detention officers this year. That’s way below normal. His decisions are knee-jerk and quite frequently appear to be made with media coverage in mind.
We just wrote a post about him firing a deputy who had just won an award for employee of the month. As far as anyone can tell, it seems the only mistake the deputy made was having the misfortune of his immediate supervisor getting arrested, something had no control over in both the arrest or in selecting who his supervisor would be. Yet, needing deputies as desperately as they do, Salazar chose instead to fire this deputy.
It’s true that Javier Salazar had no idea how to run a jail and there was going to be a learning curve. But he has shown us he has no idea how to be a leader. The stakes on that kind of lack of knowledge are too high.