BCSO asks state for $468K reimbursement after housing inmates meant for state prisons

Agency claims it has spent over $111K in overtime maintaining proper jailer-inmate ratios

Jail officials have asked the state for more than $468,000 in reimbursements.

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff’s officials have asked the state to reimburse the agency more than $468,000 for costs related to housing inmates who were supposed to be transferred to state prisons and treatment centers, according to records obtained Thursday night by the KSAT 12 Defenders.

The inmates remain in custody in Bexar County more than a month after Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials issued a temporary suspension of prisoner transfers because of COVID-19 spread concerns.

Sheriff’s officials have asked for more than $111,000 in reimbursements related to paying overtime to detention officers to maintain proper jailer-inmate ratios while the transfer ban remains in place.

They have also asked for reimbursements of more than $356,000 related to caring for “TDCJ-refused” inmates.

The figures cover expenses through May 8, according to a copy of a grant proposal obtained by the Defenders.

The request was made to the governor’s Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program, which is expected to make more than $37 million in emergency funding available to local government entities.

More than $3 million of that pot has been set aside for the Alamo Area Council of Governments, which covers Bexar County.

He fought to get out of jail during the pandemic. Now the real battle begins.

As of Wednesday, 274 inmates at the jail were waiting to be transferred to state facilities, including prisons and treatment centers.

The price for the county to continue housing these inmates has passed $622,000 and keeps climbing as the temporary ban remains in place, according to figures released Wednesday by BCSO officials.

Officials have previously said BCSO could qualify for the full amount or partial reimbursement.

The grant proposal indicated that the growing number of detention officers who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are on leave awaiting results of testing has contributed to an increase in overtime costs.

He qualified for a PR bond, but Gov. Abbott’s order kept him in jail. Now he has COVID-19.

About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.