TDCJ halts all intake of inmates from county jails due to coronavirus spread

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice will halt all intake of inmates from county jails starting Monday, April 13. 

According to a letter sent from TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier to county Sheriffs, the decision comes after COVID-19 began to spread throughout the TDCJ system. 


Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 7 Austin News app. It is FREE!

Download for iOS or Android


"I know you are hard at work trying to keep it at bay or from further spreading in your jail. Halting the intake of new inmates will allow the TDCJ to fight the virus without further exposing both county and state inmates," Collier said in the letter.  

The disaster declaration issued by Governor Abbott on March 13 waived statutory time requirements specific to the transfer of jail inmates into the TDCJ  system. 

RELATED: Governor declares state of disaster for Texas

Collier also stated that TDCJ implemented multiple agency-wide "policies, protocols, and preventative measures" to slow the spread of the virus. However, as of when the letter was sent on April 11, 69 TDCJ employees, medical providers or contractors have tested positive for COVID-19. An additional 130 inmates have also been diagnosed with the virus. 

"I recognize this is an additional strain on your jail. Please know it is our intention to begin taking jail inmates when this situation stabilizes, and it is safe to do so." Collier wrote. 

The letter stated this action is temporary but did not give a date at which TDCJ will accept county inmate transfers again. 



FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 12 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.

You can watch live in your FOX 7 Austin app or on the FOX 7 Austin Facebook page.

You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at