Harris County is moving closer to hiring an administrator for its jail.
Steve Radack, commissioner for Precinct 3, is proposing that hire because he thinks an administrator could, for example, help improve overtime management and enhance the screening of inmates with mental health conditions.
“I’d like to see this going full throttle within 90 days,” Radack –who already brought up this topic at the previous meeting, held on March 14th— told Houston Public Media after the Commissioners Court’s bi-monthly meeting.
He added that, if the Commissioners Court approves hiring an administrator, he wants to do a nationwide search for candidates, which is something Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez supports.
Gonzalez attended the meeting and told the commissioners he is open to hiring an administrator, although he reported overtime costs at the jail have gone down since he took office.
But he also made a request that an eventual administrator would be under his supervision.
“I would just like for it to continue to stay under the umbrella of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and not outsourcing it out or moving it away from us,” said Gonzalez.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett also thinks an administrator is a good option for the jail and, therefore, the county could take the steps to hire one, although there is not a specific timeline to do it.
Harris County officials have underscored that running the jail is a complicated task, among other reasons because its operating costs are about 250 million dollars a year.