SAN MARCOS – Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra posted a video to his Facebook page on Friday, March 12, expressing concerns over the Hays County Jail conditions.
According to Becerra, the Hays County Judge’s office has received “numerous” concerns from multiple residents regarding the jail’s condition. He listed toilets not flushing, broken pipes and other structural issues, and their overall approach to COVID-19 care.
In the video, Becerra also said that he has made multiple attempts to access the County Jail and see the interior condition but has had no results.
“As the county judge of Hays County, not been granted access to walk our facility to confirm or deny or get an understanding of what is actually taking place,” Becerra said. “And I’ve been told no, and door after door after door has been shut in my face.”
Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler responded to Becerra with the following statement addressing jail conditions and concerns:
In November 2016, the taxpayers of Hays County passed a 106.4-million-dollar public safety bond. 65.1 million of that was set aside for the expansion and renovations on Uhland Road. In January 2021, after multiple days of inspections by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, the Hays County Jail received its approval to occupy the new expansion.
While we continue to work with our contractor to address minor construction issues (punch list) there are no major mechanical issues linked to the expansion and renovation project that would decrease the humane treatment of our inmates. The renovation phase of this project is scheduled to completed by this summer.
As we address COVID related challenges in our jail, cleaning and sanitizing continues to be a priority. Our medical staff monitors the inmate population for COVID related symptoms brought to their attention. We continue to provide our staff and inmates with personal protective equipment to reduce the spread of the virus. We feel fortunate that currently, we only have one inmate in our custody who has tested positive for COVID and no Hays County jailers.
As evidenced by a tweet from County Judge Ruben Becerra stating “I have received concerns about our Hays County Jail conditions – I hear you – I’m looking into it. Stand by.” Judge Becerra has yet to reach out to me to share these alleged concerns, however I encourage him to contact the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to request an investigation into any improprieties he feels are occurring in my facility.