4/30/2020 - Judge KP George Statement on COVID-19 Positive Felons Sent to Fort Bend County
State of Texas sending coronavirus convicted criminals to Jester Prison in Richmond
Fort Bend County, TX – County Judge KP George released the following statement after the Texas Department of Criminal Justice notified him that it is transferring COVID-19 positive prisoners to the Jester 1 Unit in Richmond, Texas.
“I was shocked to find out that the State of Texas has been using Fort Bend County as a dumping ground for convicted criminals with coronavirus. The State didn’t tell me until after it had begun the process of transferring prisoners who are positive for COVID-19 to the Jester State Prison in Richmond. It’s outrageous that state officials would jeopardize the health and safety of Fort Bend County citizens, who have sacrificed so much to flatten the curve, by sending all of their sick prisoners here.”
“I contacted officials at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for information on their policy of moving around the prisoners -- who the State was incapable of keeping safe and healthy in its penitentiaries. I was told their policy is to round up all the COVID-19 prisoners from around the state and drive them all to the Jester 1 Unit, here in Richmond. The felons have not yet recovered. The inmates are still contagious to anyone who comes in contact with them.
“I asked what prevention measures the State put in place to protect our innocent citizens who work at the prison and live in the community. I was told that, after the prisoners are dropped off at Jester, they are supposedly being quarantined inside the prison for 14 days to prevent the virus from spreading. The official told me that the prison employees are screened for symptoms such as fever and required to wear masks inside the unit. Well, those are dangerously insufficient standards for the close and confined quarters in a prison.”
“I am not going to put our citizens at risk just as we begin to recover from the pandemic and reopen for business. I demand that the State of Texas remove the contagious prisoners out of our County and transport them to another facility. I ask all Fort Bend residents to help by contacting their state legislators in Austin to demand the convicted criminals with coronavirus get sent someplace else.”