While County withholds Jail Audit, its proposed budget includes almost 10% decrease in jail funding, despite rising inmate population.
San Antonio, TX — The Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County (DSABC) filed an Open Records Request with the office of Bexar County Manager David Smith for release of the long-delayed audit of the Bexar County Adult Detention Center.
The decision to move forward with the audit, a joint effort between two contractors each separately hired by Bexar County and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, was approved in October 2021, and was initially expected to be completed in February 2022.
“We’ve been told over and over that the audit would be released and discussed by the Bexar County Commissioners Court these past few weeks. But it still hasn’t been put on the agenda,” said Ron Tooke, President of the DSABC. “Our priority is transparency. We want the public to know now about the inhumane conditions inmates and deputies endure every day, especially so the County can’t skirt its responsibilities when it comes time to vote on the budget two weeks from now.”
VIDEO SHOWS SEWAGE RISING INTO INMATES’ LIVING QUARTERS
Denoting how urgently repairs are needed, the DSABC released a video sewage rising from the drain in inmates’ living quarters. Sewage backups and ceiling leaks have plagued the facility for years, compelling many who work there to protect their desks with plastic tarps.
“Despite claims from Bexar County Facilities Manager Dan Curry two weeks ago that there are no open maintenance work orders and that he has a ‘plan’ for improvements, this video footage is proof that deplorable conditions in the jail continue,” says Tooke. “We demand Bexar County Facilities Management intervene immediately to ensure a minimum of well-being for all individuals inside the jail.“
9.4% CUT IN JAIL FUNDING FOR 2022-2023
The county budget proposal for the 2022-2023 fiscal year submitted to commissioners on Tuesday, August 23, contains a 9.4% decrease in funds for the jail and no change to the number of deputy positions, despite a request from Sheriff Javier Salazar for 74 additional officers. The proposal, which cites personnel requests from several other departments, omits the Sheriff’s request, though it projects a rise in the inmate population for the coming year.
“I wish I could say I was surprised by this huge cut in the jail budget, but I’m not; County Manager, David Smith, has a history of cutting deputy positions and short-changing jail safety, and unlike other county employees, there is no formal annual performance evaluation for Smith, meaning he’s totally unaccountable to his employers, the people of Bexar County,” said Ron Tooke.
According to the DSABC, around 300 detention officer positions at the jail remain unfilled.
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 Page 60-2 of Proposed Annual Budget, https://www.bexar.org/DocumentCenter/View/34751/FY-2022-23-Proposed-Budget-Book
Jonathon Holler – firstname.lastname@example.org – 210-609-9559