Harris County, Tx., in Houston isn’t the only one struggling with jail overcrowding. Several suburban counties in the region have come under state regulators’ scrutiny for the same issue as the demand for jail beds continues to grow, says the Houston Chronicle. ”There’s more jail beds today than ever before, but there’s no room,”said Terry Julian of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, noting that the county jails in the state are at 86 percent of capacity.
That doesn’t bode well for Harris County, which faces an order from the commission that could force the transfer of at least 500 inmates to other counties until the jail can comply with a mandate of one guard for every 48 inmates. County officials want to keep transferred them within 200 miles. But only two neighboring counties – Montgomery and Liberty – say they have enough room and staffing to spare. Many counties have built or are building new facilities to keep up with the increasing number of inmates.