Inmates Are Human Too


Erin Slaughter, Student Writer

While police brutality on these streets is at an all-time high, neglect in jails, especially in Houston, Texas appears to be at an all-time high as well.

Some are saying that policies or lack of them inside of the jail are the reason that some inmates are going into Houston jail and not coming back out alive. Others are saying that the jails being understaffed is to blame as well.“Last year, 27 inmates died while in custody at the Harris County Jail, according to KPRC 2 records. Four deaths were reported in January of this year. For months, there has been complaints of overcrowding, long jail stays and understaffing.”

A Houston mother is among those calling for change. Her son died over a year ago and she has yet to receive the answers she needs to put his tragic passing behind her.

“I’m just one person, but I have done everything that I could to keep up enough noise with the right people and the right ears for a change. These polices in this building need to change,” Jacilet Griffin said.

Reports that have been obtained have listed the jail that her son died in to have multiple deficiencies.

Inmates were reported to be held in holding anywhere from 63 to 70 hours and them not seen by medical staff within 48 hours, as required by facility operation plan was also reported as a policy not be upheld by the jail.

The reports of deficiencies date all the way back to December 2022 when the jail failed to adhere to a physician’s orders and administer medicine to an inmate as the physician instructed. With all the all protest on the streets for police brutality, it seems the conditions of those already incarcerated have taken the back burner.

Jail reform advocates say that are not surprised by the increase of deaths in the jails. “Knowing how deadly and overcrowded the jail has been, knowing how many people died last year, knowing the quality of medical care,” Gundu said. “This is not a surprise.”

On the recent deaths, the jail has declined to comment but that is not to say that they are not required to create new policies and uphold the old ones to make the jail a safe one for the inmates that are housed there.

According to a report from KRPC 2 the sheriff and county judge will have to appear before the jail commission later this year and explain what’s being done to correct the problems.

The family members of those who unfortunately did not make it home after their stay in Houston jail say they will never stop fighting for justice, for answers and will continue to push for reforms so no more families are torn apart.