Filing a Complaint with TCJS

Jails in Texas are subject to the rules set by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.  We’ve gotten complaints from family members of inmates having to sleep on the floor at the Bexar County jail.  That is a violation but most people don’t know where to file a complaint.  Below are just some of the rules established by the TCJS, taken directly from their website, so you have an idea of what the inmate is supposed to be receiving.  You can click on the TCJS link in this paragraph for more information.  If you want to file a complaint click here for the complaint form.   

Standard facility clothing shall be issued to all inmates held over 48 hours. Additional appropriate clothing shall be issued to inmates participating in outside activities during inclement weather.
A change of clothing shall be furnished at least once a week unless work, climatic conditions, illness, or other factors necessitate more frequent exchange to assure cleanliness.
All inmate personal clothing shall be cleaned, or sprayed with a disinfectant and stored.
Inmates held over 48 hours who are unable to supply themselves with personal care items, because of indigency, shall be furnished the following:
(1) toothbrush;
(2) toothpaste or toothpowder;
(3) soap;
(4) comb;
(5) shaving implements.
Toilet paper shall be available at all times.
Each inmate shall be given the opportunity to shower at least every other day or more often if possible. Inmates on work assignments and those making court appearances shall be given an opportunity to shower daily. Inmates should be required to shower at least every other day. Whenever clearly justified for health or sanitary reasons, the sheriff/operator may require a shower.
Whenever clearly justified for health or sanitary reasons, the sheriff/operator may require a haircut. Haircuts by reasonably skilled persons shall be available on a voluntary basis to all inmates, sentenced and unsentenced.
A standard issue of bedding and linens to each inmate to be placed in housing shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following clean, safe, and serviceable items:
(1) one mattress;
(2) one sheet or mattress cover;
(3) one towel;
(4) one blanket, or more depending upon climatic conditions. Inmates detained in holding and/or detoxification cells may be provided with the above items.

Washable items such as sheets, towels, and mattress covers shall be exchanged for clean replacements at least once each week, or more often if necessary. Blankets shall be laundered or dry cleaned at least every three months or more often if necessary.

Mattresses shall be swept, aired, sprayed with a nontoxic disinfectant and stored off the ground prior to reissue.

Food shall be served three times in any 24-hour period. No more than 14 hours shall pass between meals without supplemental food being served.

Except in emergency situations, meals shall be served in accordance with a written menu approved and reviewed annually for compliance with nationally recognized allowances for basic nutrition including nutritional requirements of known pregnant inmates. This approval and review shall be documented and should be performed by a licensed or provisional licensed dietitian.


10 thoughts on “Filing a Complaint with TCJS

    • admin

      Eleanor – Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We had a post on it but it was only listed in the Info for Inmates category. We fixed it so the post also shows up in the understanding the system category too. You can go to either of those categories and look for the post titled Filing a Complaint with TCJS.

      We would like to ask our readers to help spread the word about our website. Please recommend us to people you know. Thank you.

    • admin

      Robin – You can call either Sheriff or Detention administration to let them the problem. They will take information then have someone look into it. Personally, I would call straight to Sheriff’s administration. That number is 210-335-6010.

      We would like to ask our readers to help spread the word about our website. Please recommend us to people you know. Thank you.

  1. Anthony

    I was in SAPD holding cells, and we did not have benches in some of the cells, just a concrete slab that was elevated, and in the other cells/holding bays they had a steel bench. No food was given. I was arrested at 9pm overnight, and stayed there until at least breakfast 10am before being transferred to county Bexar jail. We did not get any food trays, just one meal, and it was a half a sandwich with a small juice box. Is this normal? Also we were not allowed to make phone calls at certain times. Does this rise to the level of a complaint being issued?

    I was recently falsely arrested after a motor vehicle crash and I wasn’t able to pass a field sobriety test due to injuries, bruising both legs, my let knee hurt at the time, but my right thigh didn’t have bruising until days later, and I was bleeding from my head, from a cut on my nose, and two scrapes to my forehead, I declined ambulance medical attention at the time. I Blew a 0.000 on the breathalyzer, which I was impatient to take, and then the officer said I was on drugs, because my eyes were doing a flickering thing or something like that, he did not check my pupils too see if they were dilated or constricted, or any other checks to see if I was on the presence of drugs. At the end of the booking process one of the Jailers was shocked when I stated I blew a 0.000 and wasn’t let go. Although watching the making a murderer documentary, I can always compare myself to him, and be thankful, that I am not in that predicament and having to spend 18 years in prison. Although I am still not happy, but it was an eye opening experience.

    • admin

      Anthony – I don’t know the specifics but there is a difference between what the jail is required to do and what SAPD is required for their holding facility. It all depends on amount of time the person is there. I believe, don’t hold me to this, that if they hold a person over 24 hours, they are considered to be acting like a jail and must meet jail criteria in feeding you which is why they try to move you to the jail before that time. They don’t want to foot the bill for feeding people.

      As far as your arrest, I would file a complaint with SAPD. Maybe, MAYBE, they’ll look into it. At least you will have a better chance of that happening with SAPD than you would with one of the smaller cities in our county.

      We would like to ask our readers to help spread the word about our website. Please recommend us to people you know. Thank you.

  2. Claudia

    I haven’t been able to communicate with my son over the phone or video conference since almost 3 months ago. I’ve been scheduled video conferences several dates at different times almost every week some weeks even twice, and said inmate missed call. Who do I need to talk to, to know what’s going on? Why can’t speak to him?

    • admin

      Claudia – Inmates do not have to accept a video visitation. It’s possible that he chose not to speak to you. Or there can be other reasons. The jail is extremely shorthanded. The new delta variant has a lot of officers out sick. The jail may not have enough staffing to escort inmates to the video visitation room. You could try calling the sheriff’s administration office to see if you can get answers.

      We would like to ask our readers to help spread the word about our website. Please recommend us to people you know. Thank you

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