"It started not with anyone coming forward, but with a sheriff noticing a female inmate with new tennis shoes, and wondering where they came from. It turned out it was a favor done my employee," he said. "The ball of yarn unraveled from that point."
Bernstein said that many of the facilities in Harris County are buildings retrofitted to be jails, and that the original design did not include cameras or clean sight lines. He said following the investigation, they plan to add more surveillance cameras and reexamine their training process.
"We did provide training to all jail employees of common sense rules, and criminal law of the state of Texas," he said. "They're told it's a felony. We've told people that before, and that it's a violation of our internal rules."
Alehashem said that though this is a potential start, the full extent of what's going on in Harris County's jail and Juvenile Justice Center has yet to be properly diagnosed.
"If these were all taking place in the laundry room, it sounds like there was a culture in the jail where there was a place to do this sort of thing," he said. "We need to look at how this culture started, who else knew about this, and look at every case and see what the common links are and how this is allowed to go on."