Bexar County, San Antonio, Texas
Julian Torres had a nine-month stay in the Bexar County Jail. Despite an extensive history of treatment in El Paso mental health facilities and a dangerous epileptic condition, he was not given medical care after being picked up on a minor charge. Lack of care resulted in serious injuries and hospitalization. His elderly parents describe their frustration in communicating with the jail and how their information about history and medications was ignored.
Julian Torres lived in El Paso with his parents and was attending school. He had a long history of epilepsy and mental illness for which he was receiving medications when he went missing from home in April, 2014.
A few weeks later, Greg and Carlota Torres discovered their son had been incarcerated in San Antonio on a burglary charge. Accounts reveal the behavior of someone clearly mentally ill, and his long records of treatment in an El Paso MHMR clinic should have verified that history, had the records been communicated to the magistrate.
Greg Torres spoke with officers and a caseworker, giving them essential information about their son’s conditions and prescriptions, and documented each call.
When the elderly couple finally managed to make the seven-hour bus trip to the Bexar County Detention Center in San Antonio, they were in for a shock. Their son had been hospitalized in very serious condition, and nobody could tell them why.
During the nearly nine months that Julian Torres was held pretrial, the Bexar county jail neglected their son’s conditions; his mental health was diminished; and his truck was lost to theft. His parents suffered tremendously. His mother sought counseling, and the situation created tremendous stress on their marriage.
“He’s the joy of her and my life, you know…I wouldn’t wish this on anybody else,” says Greg Torres.
On March 26th, 2015, at 1:30 am, Julian Torres was released from the Bexar County Detention Center. He will be on probation for many years, but he is back home in El Paso with his family. In telling their story, Mr. and Mrs. Torres hope to raise public awareness of how jailing people with mental disorders for months while they await trial can lead to further trauma and injuries.
*An extended account of this family's story is available on the Nation Inside blog: http://nationinside.org/campaign/jail-house-stories/posts/a-journey-through-a-texas-county-jail/