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Sheriff Hickman and the Harris County Jail: Wednesday’s Show (February 10, 2016)

Sheriff Ron Hickman was recently criticized for reducing internal jail inspectors and disbanding a proactive internal affairs squad at the Harris County Jail. The Harris County Sheriff’s office has said that these changes could actually speed up investigations, and the reassignment of inspectors will put more responsibility on first-line jail supervisors. And these are just […]

Photo: Maggie Martin, Houston Public Media

Sheriff Ron Hickman was recently criticized for reducing internal jail inspectors and disbanding a proactive internal affairs squad at the Harris County Jail. The Harris County Sheriff’s office has said that these changes could actually speed up investigations, and the reassignment of inspectors will put more responsibility on first-line jail supervisors. And these are just a couple of the many changes that have been made under Sheriff Hickman's leadership.

Hickman dropped by Houston Public Media earlier this week. On this edition of Houston Matters, we hear his reasoning for the changes he’s made at the Harris County Jail.

Also this hour: When you look around Houston, especially on a sunny, cool day, you might notice a patchwork of nicely maintained green spaces and parks filled with people. In fact, the city's parks department says it has a goal of connecting every resident of Houston to a neighborhood park in the next 25 years. Amid budget tightening, the city has increasingly turned to public/private partnerships to maintain parks. How much of a stake does the city have when a private entity takes over? Paige Phelps asks Houston Parks and Recreation Director Joe Turner and Anne Olson, President of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership.

Then: A new book from Sam Houston State University Professor Brian Jordan examines the challenges Union veterans faced at the completion of the Civil War, and how those challenges continue for today's men and women in the armed forces. We talk with Dr. Jordan about his book, Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War, and how he'd like it to serve in today's dialogue about veterans issues.

Plus: About 40 minutes southwest of downtown Houston is the George Ranch Historical Park, where you can learn the stories of a four-generational legacy of the Jones, Ryon, Davis and George families through their preserved homesteads, beginning in 1824 and ending in the mid 1900's. These families were incredibly influential in the Richmond/Rosenberg area, and many streets and buildings bear those family names. The houses are in a one-mile loop on the ranch, but on the larger 23,000 acre site you can find a working ranch and plenty of animals. We take you on a virtual tour of some of the properties.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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Craig Cohen

Craig Cohen

Executive Producer/Host, Houston Matters

Craig Cohen is the executive producer and host of Houston Matters, which airs weekdays at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Houston Public Media, News 88.7 FM. Craig is a 20+ year veteran of broadcast journalism. He's spent the bulk of his career in public media, in roles ranging from programmer...

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