Inspector says everything in line

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal

Once again on Tuesday the Jim Wells County jail passed its state inspection.

For the last 26 years, the Jim Wells County jail has passed its inspections by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards through hard work and constant attention to details, JWC Sheriff Oscar Lopez said.

"I think that the work that's done on a daily basis is what did it for us. We try to do upkeep every day, and the officers and jailers cooperate well together," Lopez said.

"We've been working together for the last 26 years to keep this up, and we've passed for the last 26 years. That's a good record, and it speaks well for the department. It's an honor for me to be here as sheriff and represent these people who are doing a good job."

TCJS Inspector George Johnson congratulated Lopez on his passing grade and praised the conditions of the jail in front of the county judge and commissioner's court, who were in attendance after the inspection.

"Everything looked good, all the paperwork looked good. I was here three years ago, and it looks just as good as it did three years ago," Johnson said.

The TCJS inspection is based on 15 points of criteria. This includes annual jail report information, life safety drills and checks, kitchen and meal inspections, supervision and staffing, sanitation checks, discipline and offense reports, grievances and complaints, classification of inmates, recreation logs, operational plans, commissary, ADA plans, medical files and a walk-through of the facility.

Adan Munoz, executive director of TCJS, said if a jail fails on one item, it is enough for the facility to be considered non-compliant.

He said the inspection is either pass or fail, and all criteria must be approved to receive a passing grade.

"It takes a lot to get to where we're at now," said Capt. Sandra Salas, JWC co-jail administrator. "To me this is like the football playoffs. Like what the Coyotes are to South Texas football, the jail is to me. Failure is not an option."