Most Brazos County Jail inmates are “legally innocent”

In Brazos County, as of December 2019, only 27.65% (172) of the people incarcerated in the county’s Sandy Point Road jail were serving sentences for crimes. The county statistics were sourced from Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS), a state agency responsible for compiling and reporting data pertaining to Texas jails.

The December 2019 TCJS report shows that 72.35% (450) of the people incarcerated in Brazos County’s jail have were not behind bars as a punishment for crimes they committed against the people of Brazos County or the State of Texas.

154 legally-innocent Brazos County inmates were awaiting trial for misdemeanors (74) and state-jail felonies (80), relatively low-level offenses punishable by a maximum of incarceration for two years and a fine of up to $10,000. 235 legally-innocent inmates were accused of more serious, but not necessarily violent, felonies.

9.81% of the reported inmates were classified other than pre-trial or convicted. 8 such inmates were detained on bench warrants as of the December 2019 TCJS jail population snapshot. Some of the remaining 53 “other” inmates were most likely immigration holds. The December 2019 TJCS Immigration Detainer Report shows 42 inmates were housed for a total of 955 inmate days, an average of 23 days each.

The last time the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a federal agency, issued a report on the subject in mid-2017, about two thirds (482,000) of the 745,200 inmates held in our nation’s city and county jails “were unconvicted and awaiting court action on a charge.” While the remaining third were “convicted and serving a sentence or awaiting sentencing.”

Brazos County Inmate Population by Conviction Status

State and National Jail Research, Data and Resources

Bureau of Justice Statistics: Federal agency responsible for justice and law enforcement statistics.

Project Orange Jumpsuit: Study of disparity in court outcomes for incarcerated vs. bonded-out defendants.

Texas Commission on Jail Standards: State agency responsible for compiling and reporting data pertaining to Texas jails.

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