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    DeWitt County Sheriff Carl Bowen is pictured visiting with county jail inmates to explain the COVID-19 situ- ation and how it will impact the jail and visitation. Photo by Sonya Timpone/The Cuero Record.

Sheriff educates inmates about COVID-19

By Allison Flores, Sonya Timpone

The Cuero Record

Dewitt County Sheriff Carl Bowen met with every inmate in the DeWitt County Jail on Wednesday, March 18 to explain the current situation regarding COVID-19.  

“This is basically to explain to them why we’re doing what we are doing and what they can do to make their environment safe,” said the Sheriff. Sheriff Bowen released a statement earlier in the week, in accordance with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, that the DeWitt County Jail would suspend all visitation to the facility until further notice. The Sheriff noted that this does not include legal visitation.

“In light of the COVID-19 virus, and after the Governor’s declaration, jail standard said that they will suspend [the enforcement of an inmate’s right to visitation] and recommend that we do not allow visitation,” stated the sheriff during an interview.

Bowen continued on to explain that the visitation room itsself is a very public and heavily trafficked room, which could lead to the spread of the virus.

“It’s just not feasible to wipe down the phones after every visit,” said Bowen. In meeting with each inmate face-to-face, Bowen wanted put down any rumors that might have been circulating.

“The public has access to all kinds of information–but, the inmates, all they have is what is broadcasted on TV. What we are going to do is go in and have a brief conversation of what we’re doing–we are also going to explain why we aren’t having visitation right now.”

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