The oft-troubled Harris County Jail has passed a surprise week-long inspection and has been certified by the state, Sheriff Adrian Garcia announced this afternoon.
"This is just the beginning of our efforts to not only stay in compliance with state regulations, but also to use 'best practices' and become a comprehensive model for all urban county jails," the sheriff said. "My gratitude and congratulations go to the dedicated front-line employees of the sheriff's office."
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards visited the facility last week, and the certification was received by mail today, the sheriff's office said.
"This certificate of compliance is a direct result of your department's commitment to excellence and further attests, signifies and demonstrates your department's dedication and professionalism in maintaining a safe, secure and sanitary facility," Adan Munoz Jr., the commission's executive director, wrote.
Garcia's office said the inspection included fire safety, life safety, sanitation, medical facilities, record-keeping, guard-to-inmate ratios and inmate-housing arrangements.
The jail is the state's largest and holds 9,300 inmates this week, with another 1,200 inmates placed in jails outside the county because of overcrowding.