Inmates returned to mold-free jail


After more than six months of transporting inmates to Fort Bend County due to mold in the Austin County Jail, Sheriff Jack Brandes said Monday all male inmates have been returned to the Bellville location and the facility has a clean bill of health.

Female inmates are still being housed in Fort Bend, but there’s just two at this time, Brandes added. The cost to relocate inmates is about $55 per head per day.

“All is well in the jail,” Brandes told county commissioners during a Monday morning meeting. “We have our prisoners back. We started bringing them back last week a few at a time so we could book them in smoothly. Everything is up and running. The kitchen is doing well. It’s as good as can be expected.”

A letter from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards stated that five separation cells and one violent cell were inspected and have undergone mold remediation.

“Several items were noted and addressed at the time of inspection,” states a letter issued March 15 by Brandon Wood, executive director of the jail commission. “At this time, Housing Unit D, five separation cells and one violent cell are compliant with Texas Minimum Jail Standards and you may begin utilizing the approved areas immediately.”

Commissioners also unanimously approved an agreement between Austin County EMS and Setrac to provide shared services related to disaster response activity. Austin County EMS Director Ron Dille addressed the court to explain the agreement.

“In the city of Houston there’s six task forces in this region,” Dille said. “In Hurricane Harvey there was close to 400 ambulances that came into our region to assist us from across the state. This is a reciprocal kind of thing if anything happens anywhere else. We only respond if we have resources; we can decline at any time.”

In other matters on Monday, commissioners app voting locations for the May 5 special election and May 22 runoff election.

Early voting in the May 5 election begins April 23; early voting for the runoff starts May 14. More information is available at


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