HOUSTON – Houston police Chief Art Acevedo has released his response to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s plan to release about 1,000 inmates from the county’s jail during the coronavirus pandemic.
Hidalgo said Tuesday that there are currently about 8,000 inmates in the Harris County Jail, leaving little opportunity for social distancing within the jail.
The proposal was announced following an inmate who tested positive for the coronavirus, two dozen inmates with symptoms and about 1,100 asymptomatic inmates who were under observation. She described the jail as “a ticking time bomb” that had the potential to be the “epicenter of a catastrophe.”
Acevedo made it clear in his response that he was not given any specifics and that the plan was not discussed with him. He said there has been an 18.9% increase in business burglaries during the pandemic. He said hopes that criminals convicted of burglary are not released in large numbers.
Acevedo said he has prepared a declaration for a lawsuit pending in federal court that details his position on the release of inmates.
Read the full statement below: