REFUGIO – The Refugio County Jail was listed in non-compliance with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards after a surprise inspection on March 12.
Phillip Bosquez, the TCJS inspector, found four points of non compliance including the following:
– A maximum custody inmate was being housed with multiple minimum custody inmates in the same living area.
– A haphazard amount of jail inmate assessments. Some were incomplete, one was not done as required upon incarceration. After an inmate’s initial assessment, more assessments have to be done every 90 days, and some were seven days to 60 days past due.
– No proof of an inspection by a fire official, which is required at least annually by jail standards.
– And the kitchen had not been inspected since January 2014. Standards require a yearly inspection, so this was past due.
Sheriff Robert Bolcik said all of the points have been addressed.
“I have sent them (TCJS) a letter showing them we have complied. (The inspector) will be back in 60 days, and we’ll show him all our new reclassification system and trained officers,” Bolcik said.
Bolcik said John Ray Bustos, 29, was sent back to prison and probably is in the Garza Unit at Beeville.
Bolcik said he had put his trust in Chief Jailer George Hernandez, who was terminated on Feb. 27, to take care of the jail and run things to standards accordingly.
But Bustos had shared living spaces with minimum classified inmates and had been misclassified as a trusty.
Bolcik said he didn’t question Hernandez when Hernandez requested Bustos come back from prison to Refugio on a work program although Bustos had been arrested in Calhoun County in fall 2011. Bustos was convicted of a beating of a 27-year-old Victoria man who was left brain dead.
Bolcik said Hernandez had favoritism toward Bustos and let him do many things against jail standards, including taking him to lunch in Corpus Christi on a trip to buy supplies, which led to an investigation that ended up with the termination of Hernandez and demotion of the jail lieutenant Arturo Rodriguez.
But Bolcik said he wasn’t thinking about how Bustos was classified when Hernandez told him Bustos was a good worker and should come back to Refugio from prison.
So Bolcik wrote a letter requesting that Bustos return.
“I should have looked over it more carefully before I requested him back,” Bolcik said.
“This is the first time I’ve been through (a jail inspection). A lot of it is making sure paperwork is done,” he said.
Bolcik said he has started a training program for jail staff on reclassification of inmates.
Bolcik said a fire inspection had been done by the fire marshal, but the jail never got the letter back from the fire marshal. Bolcik has it now.
Also, the kitchen has been inspected, as well.
“All of this stuff has been put in order,” he said.