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Howard County, Texas Jail Fails a May 2024 Jail Inspection

Front of Jail Cell

Howard County Jail in Texas is currently listed as a non-compliant jail on the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) website. The latest non-compliance correspondence was issued on June 3, 2024, following a May 31 jail inspection. TCJS inspectors found Howard County Jail is in violation of one minimum jail standard pertaining to inmate physical exercise and recreation, which must be provided for each inmate at least 1 hour three times per week.

Howard County Jail’s address is 3611 W Hwy 80, Big Spring, TX 79720. The jail has a housing capacity of approximately 96 inmates.

A 2024 Inmate Death in Howard County Jail was Caused by Drug Toxicity

Tragically, Howard County Jail is one among many U.S. jails that have had inmate deaths associated with substance abuse. Sadly, approximately 9 hours after his arrival at Howard County Jail, a 55-year-old detainee died of acute methamphetamine intoxication. This occurred in March 2024.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), death and suffering because of withdrawal from opioids, alcohol, methamphetamine, and other substances are preventable. Yet, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, drugs and alcohol are the third leading cause of death in U.S. jails.

Statistics in a report on this topic were based on the coding used to identify how deaths in jails occurred. It was found, however, that among the deaths that occurred within 7 days of arrest for alcohol intoxication, only 18% were officially coded to indicate it involved drugs/alcohol intoxication. During the 5 years covered in the report on U.S. jail statistics, substance withdrawal was associated with 103 deaths. Sixty-six of those deaths involved alcohol, 21 involved drugs (primarily opioids), and 16 were caused by unknown substances.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Methamphetamine Toxicity?

An estimated 10% of the criminal justice system population recently surveyed used meth or cocaine or misused stimulants at the time of the offense for which they were incarcerated. When methamphetamine is forcibly withdrawn because an individual is in jail, withdrawal reactions are quite common. Diagnosing stimulant intoxication or withdrawal requires qualified healthcare professionals.

Acute withdrawal symptoms usually last 7 to 10 days. The following are among the signs and symptoms of acute meth withdrawal:

  • Increased giddiness, vigor, and a sense of enhanced mental acuity and performance
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Dehydration
  • Mental confusion
  • Lack of energy

Post-acute and protracted withdrawal symptoms from methamphetamine can include the following:

  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings
  • Suicidal thoughts/ideation
  • Increased appetite
  • Excessive sleepiness and fatigue
  • Psychosis

Contact the Law Offices of Dean Malone for Help with Jail Neglect Cases

Are you in need of legal help because you believe a loved one died in jail due to neglect? Or were you formerly detained in a Texas county or municipal jail and suffered a severe injury from medical neglect or abuse? Having legal support with broad experience in such cases is vital.

At the Law Offices of Dean Malone, we are dedicated to addressing cases of jail neglect, inmate abuse, and jail deaths. With our years of experience, you can rely on us for trusted legal representation. Contact us promptly. We are available 24/7 via phone, text, or our online form.


Written By: author image smchugh
author image smchugh