Texas Bill Aims to Tighten Rules for Jailers After Dallas Morning News Investigation

On Christmas Eve 2016, Andy DeBusk screamed at the jailers piling on top of his body that they would kill him. Losing consciousness at the Parker County jail west of Fort Worth, DeBusk died that night. Some of the jailers who pinned him down did not have a full jailers license and hadn't taken vital safety training. A new bill would force Texas jailers to obtain training and a full license much sooner than current law requires. The proposal, filed Tuesday by state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, comes after a 2018 Dallas Morning News investigation found hundreds of other jailers working across the state on temporary licenses. Why does this matter? Right now, jailers can work for up to one year on a temporary basis, while they are supposed to take training and pass a state-mandated test required for a full license. However, The News found many jails employ people for months with temporary licenses. Some jailers worked for much longer than one year on a temporary license. That means these jailers haven't received all 96 hours of the state training that teaches jailers how to handle volatile prisoners, when they're allowed to use force, and basic safety techniques.  Continue reading...

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