In Texas, Bexar County Jail offers a $100 care package for inmates who will get their COVID-19 vaccines. The new program hopes to encourage more inmates to shoot against the deadly virus that claimed many lives.
The care packages are commissary products, and the inmates can only get them once they complete the two doses of the vaccines. Since it launched, around 1,200 of the inmates have already participated in the program. They house around 4,400 inmates.
Bexar County Sheriff Releases Statement
KXAN reported that Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar held a news conference to talk about the program. Aside from revealing that around 1,200 inmates participated in the program, he said that they are not using taxpayer funds for the program instead of commissary funds.
KXAN quoted Salazar saying, “They pay into this account. We’re using monies from that account that can be converted to agency use as long as it’s used for the welfare of inmates. Basically, we’re reinvesting those monies into this program. So we’re letting them get a $100 care package from the commissary funds.”
San Antonio Report said that the care packages could include ramen noodle cups, cleaning products, toiletries, and snacks. Although they said that the care packages would cost $100, the actual cost would be around $40 as they purchase items for the commissary at a lower price.
Why They Launched The Program
Salazar added that the program is an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside the jail and in the San Antonio community. He said that a hundred people come into the jail every day, and a hundred also leave. Some go to the prison system, while others go back to the community. He said that if the cards are not played right, it will be a spreader. As of now, there are 17 positive cases of COVID-19 in the jail.
The Carvajal Pharmacy will administer Pfizer vaccines inside the jail. Everyone in the facility, including detention deputies, will remain required to wear masks, whatever their vaccination status is.