Scroll below the map to read stories organized by county.
Texas has 254 counties and nearly all of them operate a local jail. Some county populations exceed a million people; others have less than one hundred residents. They range from the rural and remote towns of the Panhandle to the urban centers of Dallas and Houston. The diversity of those regions and their elected sheriffs mean that county jail operations vary greatly.
Explore the stories below to learn about people’s experiences in particular jails. If you have an account of a problem in a county jail not listed here, visit the Share A Story page to contribute it.
Click on a person's name below to read their story of time in jail in a specific county.
We are actively collecting new stories and hope to represent all counties in the future.
Q: Who oversees the Texas jails?:
A: Texas Commission on Jail Standards provides critical but limited supervision of conditions in jails. They have only four inspectors to monitor facilities spread across over 268,000 square miles. Specific medical care practices are left to the discretion of the local providers. Variations between counties in the availability of medical and mental health care can mean the difference between life and death for inmates.