Bexar County Jail offers $100 commissary goody bag to inmates who receive COVID-19 vaccine

Roughly 1,200 people have signed up, sheriff says

300 inmates could be released from Bexar County jail as a result of judge invalidating governor’s executive order

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said inmates in the jail are taking advantage of a new incentive rolled out to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations.

On Friday, the sheriff’s office began offering $100 commissary goody bags to the inmates if they agree to get vaccinated. So far, roughly 1,200 people have signed up, Salazar said.

The program repurposes money in the commissary fund and is not funded by taxpayers, Salazar said.

“We’re excited about the program,” Salazar said. “We think 1,200 is really a good number to start with, considering that the majority of these 1,200 folks will find their way back to the community at some point.”

Increased vaccinations would also help mitigate the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 in the jail, where roughly 4,400 are housed as they await trial.

If vaccination rates increase, Salazar said he may able to ease mitigation protocols in the jail, where masks are still required for both inmates and deputies.

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.