From the Office of Sheriff Brian Hawthorne
Sheriff Hawthorne reported that on Thursday, April 11, 2013, the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office was the subject of a surprise annual inspection by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, the state agency charged with oversight of all county jails and private jails/detention facilities in Texas. In the out briefing with Sheriff Brian Hawthorne, Chief Deputy Gilbert Phillips, Capt. Lonnie Griffey and Jail Administrator Lt. Larry D. Cook, Johnson was very complimentary of the facility. Johnson stated the facility was one of the cleanest and most well maintained facilities in his area of inspection, and was a very well-run facility. Johnson went on to say the Chambers County Jail was easily in the ‘top five” jails in his area of inspection, which includes nearly 70 county jails in East and Southeast Texas. Johnson found the Chambers County jail in full compliance with Commission standards, and issued a letter of compliance to Chambers County.
All Texas facilities under the jurisdiction of the Commission are required by state law to undergo an annual, unannounced inspection by Commission staff; this helps insure jails constantly maintain compliance with all state standards. There are currently almost 400 standards for facilities that must be met in order to maintain compliance. The inspection is not a graded inspection, but a pass/fail, meaning that a facility can be found in noncompliance if one standard is not met.
Commission Inspector George Johnson reviewed all the documentation the Commission requires each facility to maintain. These documents include cell searches, recreation logs, officer duty rosters, quarterly fire/safety inspections, fire marshal inspection, food service permits, sanitation inspections, officer training logs and emergency generator logs. Johnson also inspected each inmate cellblock areas of the jail, checking for safety and sanitation issues, condition of all jail fixtures, maintenance issues and general overall condition of the jail. During this walkthrough, Johnson also conducted a fire drill, evaluating the method and time of response by officers on duty, and conducted a full load test of the jail’s emergency generator.
Sheriff Hawthorne was very pleased with the results of the inspection, and had high praise for the jail staff. “We do have a very well-run jail, and our staff work hard to keep our jail in compliance.”