Houston To Spend Stimulus Aid On Inmate Records


County commissioners in Houston rejected most of Sheriff Adrian Garcia's requests for spending federal stimulus funding, allocating his office $6.2 million for electronic inmate medical records, reports the Houston Chronicle. The officials balked at Garcia's plan to spend $6.6 million leasing a helicopter and another $550,000 buying equipment, including a covert surveillance van and machine guns for boats patrolling a ship channel.

Commissioner Steve Radack suggested steering the bulk of the grant toward the medical records, saying the jail's current paper system is inefficient and leaves the county vulnerable to complaints that the jail does not provide adequate health care to inmates. “I think this medical record thing is so significant that in the long run it would save us millions of dollars,” he said.

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