Open Records Request

You may run into a situation where a jail employee refuses to give you the information you requested.  Don’t get angry at him, he’s probably just following policy.  If you feel you have a right to the information you can always file an open records request.  The main things to remember are that the request must be in writing and the information requested must already exist.

Don’t expect to slap down a piece of paper and that they will give you everything you want.  There are time frames and guidelines that apply under the Public Information Act.  I will tell you now that jail employees are NOT knowledgeable about open records requests.  One of my researchers ran into a lot of opposition and rudeness when she was trying to find out who to direct an open records request letter to.

The Sheriff’s Office has finally published information on how to make an Open Records request.  You  can also mail your request to Central Records.  You can email your requests to  Or you can go in person, write down what you need and hand it to them.  Records was the section that got us on the right track without being threatened by our request.  Before you make your request I strongly suggest you view the P.I.A. training video that the Attorney General has on his website.  Once on the page you will have to scroll down to find the video.

8 thoughts on “Open Records Request

  1. Charles

    I sent an envelope to an inmate over a week ago. Only papers, book reviews restaurant menus. He told me it was returned because it contained over 10 pages. I have yet to receive it back, and I cannot find anywhere where it gives a limit to pages sent.

    • admin

      I’m not sure why you were told that he could not receive a letter over ten pages. The copy of the inmate handbook that I have states in section 9.0 “You may receive letters in any quantity, amount and number of pages;…” I would contact the mail room at 335-6867 to see what the problem was and also to find out when you can expect to get your letter back.

  2. matt

    Is there a way to obtain a roster of all inmates in Bexar County Jail? I understand they have court dates, and some get shipped out, but there are also those that stay for over a year. I created a website that can help the inmates find the best possible representation for their crime. I am having a hard time getting this information inside the jail. Any input will be much appreciated.

    • admin

      Matt – Your best bet is to use the Jail Activity List. Go to our category Finding Arrested People. Once there click on the Jail Activity Reports link. You need to understand that people are being booked in and released on a constant basis, not just those getting shipped out to other facilities. The inmates do not have access to computers. You need your website to be geared towards the people who are trying to get them out. Good luck.

      • admin

        Sharon – This is not something we engage in. You can look online or in phone books for information on attorneys.

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

  3. Bee

    My son is on probation and moved to California while on probation with permission and was reporting monthly with his probation officer, he violated his probation,1st offense dwi and his probation officer informed him there was a no bond warrant out for his arrest and had to turn himself in. Is it a no bond because he is a flight risk but once here to turn himself in wil he be able to post bond?

    • admin

      Bee – Quite often a violation of probation warrant is immediately issued as a RWOB but also, quite often, the attorney is able to get the bond re-instated.

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