TEXAS - 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.
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"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.
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.
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