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South Texas Living

Polished Edge: ‘Lockup Bexar County’ to air this month

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December 12, 2012 | 2,138 views | Post a comment

SAN ANTONIO -- Officers with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office have been given a sneak preview of the hit MSNBC prison documentary series “Lockup,” filmed at the Bexar County Detention Center earlier this year. “Lockup Bexar County” completed filming its five-part series and plans on airing the first episode this December, but allowed Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz to share a sneak preview with his fellow officers.

One Bexar County deputy sheriff who watched the viewing, Michael Oyervides, commented, “I really like the video. It shows we don’t play around here at the county -- we actually do work here. It shows the citizens of Bexar County what we have to deal with -- the inmates, attitudes, and gangs. Here in Bexar County, at the jail, it’s a dangerous job.”

Deputy Oyervides went on to say, “People that are considering committing crimes might change their minds once they see how the jail is from the show. It also puts a lot of things in perspective. A lot of people hear about the suicides here at the jail but now they can see the sheriff has gone quite a ways to implement things in our policies to make sure we save lives. It finally shows that we actually do our jobs. We’re not just here to babysit, we’re here to work.”

“Lockup” Co-Executive Producer Jim Cirigliano also issued the following statement, “San Antonio’s Bexar County Jail stood out as unique to us for a couple of reasons. It has one of the most complex means of classifying inmates that we have ever seen. We saw more specialized housing units, including those for members of specific gangs, sex offenders, females accused of crimes against children, detox units, masculine gays, feminine gays, and more. All of this, of course, is to reduce violence and to incarcerate inmates in a way that they are more likely to get along with each other. We were also struck by the work of the jail’s gang intelligence officers who, among other things, are constantly monitoring the conflict between two large, warring gangs within the jail.

“Overall the jail staff were very open about the numerous challenges they face and were not the least bit reluctant to address problems ranging from inmate suicide to violence and the problems facing a city that continues to grow. That sort of openness not only makes for good TV, but I believe most of our viewers recognize and appreciate straight-forward information about America’s jail and prison systems.”

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