Dallas County Jail ‘Overwhelmed’ With Inmates

Inmate in jail cell
Inmate in jail cell | Image by sakhorn/Shutterstock

The Dallas County jail is reportedly “overwhelmed” amid an ongoing crisis regarding its inmate population, as county leaders recently said the jail has reached 98% capacity.

Inmates are allegedly not receiving food, medication, or medical attention at the proper times.

“When the system is overwhelmed and collapsing under its own weight, you start seeing how people are being neglected,” said Krish Gundu, co-founder and executive director of Texas Jail Project, per the Dallas Observer.

“They’re not getting their meds on time or not getting timely medical attention,” she said. “There [are] issues with getting food on time. Just all sorts of things start snowballing.”

Gundu said complaints about the jail have skyrocketed in recent months. A sheriff’s department spokesperson said that housing inmates at other locations would help provide some immediate relief to the stress on the system.

Officials have cited dysfunctional case management software as the cause of the jail being overwhelmed with inmates. A spokesperson told the Dallas Observer that rising crime and routine increases in jail book-ins during the summer months have also contributed to the situation.

The Dallas Express contacted the sheriff’s department for further information but received no response by press time.

Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown previously dismissed concerns about the jail being overpopulated, as reported by The Dallas Express.

“I just want people to understand we are not overcrowded,” she said. “I don’t want people to feel the jail is about to bulge at the seams.”

However, Brown acknowledged that the jail had reached 98% capacity.

Last week, County Commissioner John Wiley Price and District Attorney John Creuzot briefed council members on the Public Safety Committee about the ongoing situation at the jail.

“To the extent that we can have those people not going into the Dallas County jail and be expensive consumers of the jail, we can help solve this problem of 98%,” claimed Creuzot.

Both Creuzot and Price maintained the same position as other county officials that new case management software has contributed to the jail’s problems.

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