Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said Thursday the county jail was back in compliance with state standards, a day after the Herald-Press reported it was violating them.
In an interview with the Herald-Press, Taylor characterized the violation as a paperwork matter, found during an unannounced inspection by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Jail and medical staff, Taylor said, were not using signature slips to confirm inmates had received, or refused, their medications. Paper forms were reinstated Wednesday, he said.
“The problem has already been resolved and does not require a re-inspection,” Taylor said, adding the violation would not result in a shutdown of the county jail.
On Thursday, Will Turner, spokesman for the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, told the Herald-Press the commission would not release the failing inspection report, until copies of the report are received by Taylor and Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston.
Turner sent the reports Thursday via certified mail.
Taylor said that, although the inspection date was unknown, the local jail is typically inspected by TCJS annually, between September and November. TCJS regulates Texas' nearly 250 county jails.
Last year, the Anderson County Jail passed a state inspection in October with “flying colors,” Taylor said in a 2018 interview.
In his 15 years as sheriff, Taylor said Thursday, the jail failed state inspections only two other times: once for a mechanical problem that was fixed in a few days, and another time for a paperwork issue.
Created by the Texas Legislature in 1975, the TCJS, through annual inspections, establishes, monitors, and helps enforce minimum standards in all county and privately operated municipal jails in the state.
“Overall, the (Anderson County) jail, in all areas, was found to be in great shape, with a few items noted for technical assistance,” Taylor said.
Taylor said he has full confidence in jail staff and contracted medical staff.
“I’m grateful for the fine job they do every day,” Taylor said.
Jails that fail TCJS inspections are given time, typically two weeks, to address and repair discrepancies. Depending on the type and severity of the discrepancies, an on-site re-inspection may occur; otherwise, jail officials may send documents confirming necessary repairs have been made.
The family of former inmate Rhonda Newsome, who died in the Anderson County jail last year, has filed a wrongful death suit against the county in federal court, asking for $10 million in damages.