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Texas prisons won’t accept new county jail inmates as coronavirus spreads in lockups

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Starting Monday, the Texas prison system is no longer taking new inmates from county jails, according to an agency letter obtained by The Texas Tribune.

Bryan Collier, the executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said in a letter to county sheriffs Saturday that he recognized the move would put an additional strain on counties, but he said the action is necessary. The new coronavirus has been confirmed in at least 10 county jails, and the number of state prisoners infected nearly doubled in one day last week, according to state agency reports.

“Halting the intake of new inmates will allow the TDCJ to fight this virus without further exposing both county and state inmates,” Collier wrote.

This story is developing and will be updated.