Bexar County Sheriff announces COVID-19 prevention plan for jail inmates, deputies

There are currently no confirmed cases at jail, plan aims to keep virus out of facility

Bexar County Sheriff announces COVID-19 prevention plan for jail inmates, deputies

BEXAR COUNTY – Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar has released a COVID-19 Mitigation Plan meant to take preventative measures at the jail and out in the field.

There are no confirmed cases of the virus within the Bexar County Adult Detention Center.

"The following measures are presently in effect for the Detention and Law Enforcement Divisions:

  • A medical command post has been pre-stationed in the South Tower Sally Port. UHS personnel will medically pre-screen all prisoners in the sally port before they enter the JIAA facility. Prisoners with a fever or showing flu like symptoms (within guidelines as set forth by CDC and verified by medical staff stationed in the sally port) will be booked and housed separately from other inmates in accordance with established policies and current best practices. Inmates medically cleared and all persons entering the facility would then be sent to a hand washing station before entering the intake area for further processing. BCSO asks other law enforcement agencies to exercise discretion in making custodial arrests. We will encourage the use of cite and release and the filing of charges at large when possible.
  • The BCADC bond processing and the collection of fines will be moved from the main front desk to the front desk of the JIAA to consolidate foot traffic. All other administrative functions at the front desk will remain the same. These include Central Records requests, Criminal Investigations functions, inmate property release and attorney visits. The public will be encouraged to utilize phone or online access to county services. Please refer to for more information.
  • BCSO will limit its contact with the public to that which are immediately necessary. Deputies are being asked not to enter private residences or businesses and deputies will be encouraged to conduct as much business as possible outside in fresh air. We are enacting an Alternative Response to Non-Emergency Requests for Service. In short, certain non-critical calls for service will be handled by phone versus dispatching a deputy. This procedure falls in line with what other law enforcement agencies have been doing for many years. Our procedure is more temporary in nature and will remain responsive to changes with COVID-19 situation.
  • BCSO will work to minimize custodial arrests by filing non-violent offenses at large.
  • BCSO will work to reduce jail population by coordinating with the courts to maximize use of GPS releases for sentenced prisoners. Additionally, BCSO will suspend the Work Release Program until further notice.
  • BCSO will follow CDC, Metro Health and the County Judge’s recommendations to staff for frequent hand hygiene and staying home if they are sick. Request additional signage for infection control measures.
  • BCSO will distribute timely and accurate COVID-19 information to staff and inmates for their awareness and safety.
  • BCSO staff who have contact with field prisoners or jail inmates will maintain vigilance and report any signs or symptoms of prisoner/inmate illness to a supervisor immediately and obtain guidance on medical treatment or isolation of the prisoner.
  • BCSO will practice proper vehicle decontamination protocols and cell decontamination protocols for COVID-19 mitigation.
  • BCSO will staff to maintain critical operations in the event that essential staff are out due to illness, care of ill family members or dismissal of schools.
  • BCSO will continuously monitor updates on the COVID-19 situation and will make adjustments and implement other measures as needed to ensure the safety and health of the public, staff and inmates.
  • Additional steps may be taken by the BCSO and the public will be kept informed as these changes occur."

About the Author:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.