Harris Co. Reduces Jail Inmate Visitation To Four Days A Week

The Harris County Sheriff's office is changing its jail visitation schedule. As David Pitman reports, it's one part of the sheriff's larger plan to save money.

Visitors will no longer be able to see inmates at the Harris County Jail seven days a week.  Starting next Monday, the schedule gets pared down to four days a week.

"The new schedule is Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4 to 9 p.m.  And Saturdays and Sundays from 3:30 to 9 p.m."

Sheriff's Office spokesperson Christina Garza says the new schedule applies to friends and relatives of inmates.

"Attorneys will continue to visit with inmates at any time they would like, any day of the week. This is only for the public planning to visit inmates."

Garza says the reduced schedule will enable the Sheriff's Office to redeploy staffers who process up to 1,500 visitors a day. 

The change is expected to save more than a million dollars a year — most of that in overtime pay.

"It's no secret that we have staff shortages, that we have a limited budget.  So this is just one of the ways that we're looking for to save money."

Sheriff Adrian Garcia is trying to cover a $23 million gap between his budget request, and what Commissioners' Court gave him.

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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

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