Visitor Question

Poor treatment and not receiving proper care for chronic headaches…

Submitted By: Anita (Texas)

My son has been incarcerated in a County Detention Center in Texas for about a year. The medical staff there is very rude and uncooperative. He’s had chronic headaches his whole life.

You have to have money in your commissary to purchase ibuprofen, and he usually has enough.

The problem is, the staff is very rude and on different occasions when he is suffering terribly with a headache, they will simply refuse to give him ibuprofen.

They go so far as to tell him he doesn’t have a headache when he really does. His headache was so severe he was crying and hitting his head on the wall at one point. A man in his pod took pity on him and gave me some he had hidden.

The meals are also not nourishing.

Breakfast consists of a slice of white bread with some gravy smeared on it.

I called the jail administrator to complain and he was curt and supported everything that goes on in the jail.

If the inmate is not sent commissary money to buy some snacks (which they pay more for than you do at a grocery store, e.g. Ramen costs about 4 times what it does in the grocery store) they won’t get enough food. My son is also having teeth problems, but the only thing they do is extractions, and he doesn’t want to be toothless.

Luckily, our lawyer could see my son was being railroaded and when my son was required to test for drugs, he told us to go get an independent test as soon as we left the Adult Supervision office.

The adult supervision department lied in court about my son’s drug test and said he was dirty. Fortunately, we had proof he was not and they eventually had to write a letter admitting they ‘made a mistake.’

But the damage was already done.

I’m beginning to think the whole system is crooked here. You are definitely considered guilty before proven innocent, instead of the other way around.

They treat all the prisoners with total disrespect. My son made a mistake but is not guilty of all he is charged with. He pled guilty to crimes he did not commit because he would get 20 years if convicted by a jury.

Anyway, is there anything we can do about this mistreatment and the poor conditions in the jail? Is there anywhere we can file a complaint that will be heard, and not brushed under the rug? Thank you for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anita,

Since Texas County Jails are under the jurisdiction of the respective sheriff’s departments, your complaint will have to start there. The complaint must be in writing and contain

specific instances of what you believe to be inappropriate and unfair treatment of your son.

Here is contact information for the six largest counties in the State of Texas:

Dallas County Sheriffs Department (Dallas Area)

Travis County Sheriffs Department (Austin Area)

Bexar County Sheriffs Department (San Antonio Area)

Harris County Sheriffs Department (Houston Area)

Tarrant County Sheriffs Department (Fort Worth Area)

Cameron County Sheriffs Department (Brownsville Area)

If after filing a complaint the circumstances don’t change, you will have to retain an attorney to file a lawsuit against the Sheriffs Department. Even if you do, the Sheriffs Department may claim Sovereign Immunity. This basically means that governmental agencies are immune from lawsuit unless they waive their immunity.

Learn more here: Jail Conditions and Prison Injuries

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,


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