Palo Pinto County Sheriff's Office

PALO PINTO – The first state inspection of the Palo Pinto County Jail under Sheriff Brett McGuire has the 142-bed capacity facility meeting minimum jail standards.

Which was good news for sheriff's office since the jail's previous inspection, in December 2016, found the jail out of compliance. McGuire took office Jan. 1, 2017.

The jail was last inspected Jan. 25 by Jackie Benningfield of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

A letter dated Jan. 29 from TCJS Executive Director Brandon S. Wood acknowledged "the excellent work of the Palo Pinto County Sheriff's Office" in notifying the jail of its certificate of compliance.

"The Certificate of Compliance demonstrates your outstanding leadership and the diligent work of your staff in complying with minimum jail standards," wrote Wood. "In addition, this achievement is a direct result of your office's commitment to excellence and is an example of dedication and professionalism in maintaining a safe, secure, and sanitary facility. Providing the essential budgetary support for jail operations is also imperative to achieving compliance, so let me also congratulate the Palo Pinto County Commissioners' Court for their vital support of jail operations. The citizens of Palo Pinto County should be proud of your combined efforts, as is the Texas Commission on Jail Standards."

A written report from the Jan. 25 inspection has not been made available.

Sheriff McGuire was pleased the county jail passed the first inspection under his watch.

"Management of the detention facility is one of the most difficult aspects of any sheriff’s office operations," said McGuire. "The laws, regulations and guidelines for the operation of a safe detention facility are voluminous and require constant attention to detail. The credit for this positive inspection falls to my detention staff and supervisors and managers. Without their hard work and diligence over the past year this would have been much more difficult. I am very proud of their efforts."

According to a report from TCJS from the December 2016 inspection, there were at that time five areas of jail operations found deficient and non-compliant, most of them dealing with inmate medical records and procedures. One issue in the report found an inmate in October 2016 requested Mental Health-Mental Retardation services and as of the inspection had not been seen by a MHMR or mental health provider.

Another deficiency in the December 2016 report stated jailers on occasion were not reporting why inmates were not receiving their medications. Still another deficiency cited in that report was it was found the facility physician did not have on file a written order allowing staff to administer medication, and that when an inmate left and medications remained, they were used for other inmates who arrived without medication.

The jail had 89 inmates, including 16 females, at the time of the 2016 inspection. The jail averaged 90 inmates per day that year.

McGuire said the areas cited as non-compliant in the 2016 inspection were addressed and resolved to the satisfaction of TCJS and a re-inspection was not required.

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Currently the general manager and editor for the Mineral Wells Index, I have worked as a writer/editor/photojournalist since the late 1980s.