Lt. Gov.Dan Patrickand state Sen. John Whitmireon August 18th, 2015 announced the creation of an interim jail safety study committee to look at issues related to mental health and suicide concerns among inmates.  "Suicides in our jails have been in the news," Patrick said. "It's drawn the attention, quite frankly, of senators on both sides of the aisle."

Not only has Lt. Governor Dan Patrick brought light on this very important issue but wants to see changes made in Texas jails and prisons that are not up to the Texas Commission of Jail Standards.

On the Texas Commission of Jail Standards website you can find a list of current jails that have been found in non-compliance with Texas Minimum Jail Standards as codified in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 37, Part 9.  These non-compliance violations range from issues such as the proper training and documentation of staff for emergency situations to facilities having an established procedure for visual face-to-face observation of all inmates by jailers no less than once every 60 minutes .

Architect Lorraine M. Dailey (LMD Architects PLLC.) has worked with numerous Counties in Texas and other states in the design, remodel and renovations of County and local jails in her 25 year career.  Lorraine Dailey has also worked in the surveillance systems field for over 20 years and has expansive knowledge in the safety/security and crime prevention fields.  Lorraine Daily states, “Policy-makers often compare construction costs to determine the best value available, but assessments may not always measure “apples against apples”. Questions such as, “What is the proximity of the structure to other agencies such as the district attorney or courts?”;  “Will the facility maintain on-site food and medical services?” and “What type of inmate observations will be implemented?” are critical.  It is imperative that the decision be based on a thorough understanding of jail operations,” which she has years of experience in.

We at LMD Architects PLLC. are curious to see what is discovered in this descriptive study of Texas jails.  We are confident that there will be multiple Texas County and local jails that will need the services that LMD Architects has to offer to be recognized as being a compliant Texas Jail. 

Photo by Bob Daemmrich

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (second from right) and State Sen. John Whitmire (right), D-Houston, announced on Aug. 18, 2015, the creation of an interim study committee to take a closer look at jail safety.