Brutality in Harris County Jail

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Ryan McGrady

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It is no secret that beatings and hardships occur in jails. On February 17, 2021 Jaquaree Simmons, a detainee in Harris County Jail, passed away due to being beaten by staffers. Fred Harris, a nineteen year old in Harris County Jail, was stabbed and beaten to death by an inmate. The brutality in jail has been occurring for years and staffers need to ensure that everyone is following the policies that keep everyone safe.

According to NBC news, “ jailers beat detainee Jaquaree Simmons so severely that the 23-year-old died a day later. Three months later, Gonzalez fired or suspended 17 staffers [Gonzalez] said took part or helped cover it up.”

Not only is there a need to keep inmates safe from each other but there is also a need to keep inmates safe from staffers. It is devastating to read about the death of a 23 year old in jail that died due to the brutality of jailers and staffers. These are the people that are supposed to guarantee the safety of detainees and inmates not harm them. Officials of Harris County Jail need to ensure that their workers follow the policies they have in place in order to guarantee the security of the people in jail.

According to Randall Callinen, Harris’ family attorney, “We need more guards, we need more staff so that fights can be stopped, fights can be prevented, people can be separated.”

Harris County Jail needs to enforce their policies in order to ensure the safety of the inmates. If the policies are enforced then it can lead to less violence within the jail which prevents any further injuries. The death of Fred Harris should be a wake-up call, for the staffers, that inmates run the risk of being beaten by other inmates and so they need to keep an eye on them to secure everyone’s safety.

NBC news stated that, “Liebling — who has surveyed hundreds of jail guards and administrators — said one key to preventing abusive culture is paying closer attention to the staff: Do they hate their jobs? Do they feel safe at work? Do they talk about prisoners as humans or objects?”

The dilemmas that took place in Harris County Jail are a result of not paying close attention to the guards and administrators. An example of that is what happened to Jaquaree Simmons because the situation could’ve been prevented if officials had paid more attention to the guards and their feelings toward inmates. Not only are staffers and inmates responsible for the passings that occurred but also officials that did not try to prevent the situation in the first place.