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Harris County Jail Fails Inspection Due To Deficient Sanitation And Food Standards

Staff from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards conducted the inspection. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the facility, has 30 days to file a corrective plan.

Photo of Harris County Jail
The Harris County jail has failed an inspection conducted by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

The Harris County jail failed an inspection conducted this week by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards because of non-compliance with sanitation and food service standards, the Harris County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) announced Friday.

The weeklong inspection covered 23 areas of review, including the inmate admission and release process, health services, supervision, discipline, exercise, education, commissary and visitation.

The inspectors' findings on sanitation included that "certain areas of each building were not being kept at an acceptable level of cleanliness," while the food service element of the inspection found that "hot foods were not up to health codes (temperature) prior to the food being distributed to the inmate housing areas," according to the HCSO.

The company Aramark has been operating food services in the jail since September 2017.

Texas jails must earn passing grades in all areas of review in order to be in compliance with state standards.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has ordered an internal review and said his team is "committed to bringing the jail back into full compliance in the very near future."

The HCSO has 30 days to file a corrective action plan with the state.

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