Travis County wants to improve conditions for women in jail with new facility

August 13, 2018
KVUE

The Statesman reports that Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez said a new facility is needed because the current one is in poor condition.

AUSTIN — After months of debate and reconsideration, funding for a new Travis County jail for women is once again on the agenda.

In March, the Commissioners Court postponed a decision to spend $6.6 million to design the facility. That's because critics wanted the county to expand jail diversion programs like mental health and substance abuse services instead, according to our partners at the Austin American-Statesman.

But the Statesman reports that Sheriff Sally Hernandez said a new facility is needed because the current one is in poor condition, and sometimes, women have to walk through the men's area. In the new 2018 plan, the Statesman said the facility would add classrooms for "gender-specific programming" and a satellite clinic for women's health issues, eliminating the need for correctional officers escorting inmates through other buildings.