13 Undercover credited with Harris Co. jail changes

May 3, 2011 3:16:43 AM PDT
The Harris County Sheriff's Office will make a major announcement Tuesday: a way to speed up the booking of prisoners while keeping cops safer at the same time. And 13 Undercover got the scoop because they are getting part of the credit for making it happen.

Indiana Jones hunted for buried treasure. We hunt for wasted taxpayers' money, sort of like Raiders of the Lost Pork.

Tonight, we've got some results.

At the Harris County Sheriff's Office Monday, they were taking my mug shot, getting my fingerprints, but no, I'm not in trouble again.

"To compliment you and your work, this is where journalism does demonstrate some effectiveness," Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said.

Because there is a brand new inmate processing center. There's even a new drunk holding tank.

Flashback to 2008, when yours truly and the Raiders of the Lost Pork found this space going unused in the $81 million criminal justice building.

"These are detox cells which are being used as storage closets," we reported in 2008.

"It did apparently, largely, sit vacant for a number of years," Former Harris County Sheriff's Office Cpt. McWilliams said.

"I saw your story. I believe that you were on point that letting this public investment go unused was really a disservice to the public," Garcia said.

And the sheriff has been working ever since to make this wasted space un-wasted.

"Giving the officers a place to do their paperwork safely, have their inmates being processed safely," Garcia said.

So our work is done here, a 13 Undercover investigation with a happy ending -- at least for taxpayers.