The Sheriff of Dallas County:
is charged with the care, control and custody of individuals who have committed a crime against the citizens of Dallas County. People charged with these offenses range from a Class "C" misdemeanor to Capital Murder.
There are three types of individuals incarcerated in the Dallas County Jail.
*Individuals who did not post bail and are awaiting court.
*Individuals who have been to court and are awaiting transfer to state/federal prison.
*Judge has summoned an individual to appear in court from another detention facility.
There are six detention facilities within the Dallas County Sheriffs Department. These facilities can house more than 7500 inmates with a detention staff of 900 employees. The Dallas County Detention Facilities are self sufficient and operate 24-hours a day 365 days a year.
Lew Sterrett Justice Center: The North Tower, West Tower and Suzanne L. Kays are all located adjacent to the Frank Crowley Courts Building. This complex is known as the Lew Sterrett Justice Center, which is located 111 West Commerce St. Dallas Texas 75202.
West Tower Detention Facility: Is located within the Lew Sterrett Justice Center. The West Tower has 132 tanks and 25 single cells. It can house up to 1478 male inmates.
The West Tower houses a variety of classifications besides medium and maximum custody inmates. These classifications include: Class "C" Trusty, Infirmary, lower bunk medical restriction, closed behavioral observation, suicidal, HIV, homosexual and sex crimes against children. The inmates are housed accordingly.
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North Tower Detention Facility: was constructed in 1993, this ultramodern facility holds 2,364 maximum security inmates with 188 single cells. It takes a staff of 350 employees to operate this facility.
Suzanne Lee Kays Detention Facility: (Also known as South Tower) is the Flagship of the Dallas Sheriffs Department. This facility is the departments first direct supervision facility, meaning the floor officers work inside the actual housing unit with the inmates. The construction of this facility was completed in spring of 2008.
This Detention Center was dedicated to the memory of Suzanne Lee Kays back in 1995 by Sheriff Jim Bowles. Deputy Kays was killed in the line of duty on January 4, 1989, just six days after graduating from the Sheriff's Academy.
George Allen: The George Allen Jail is located down town across from the "Old Red Courthouse" 600 Commerce Street Dallas, Texas 75202 Detention Facility also known as the "Government Center" accepted its first inmate in 1966. With a population of 800 inmates this was the county's main jail which sits at the top of the George Allen Courthouse until the Lew Sterrett Justice center was completed in 1983.
Decker Detention Center: The Bill Decker Detention Center is located at 899 North Stemmons Fwy Dallas, Texas 75202. The Decker Detention Center was named after one of Dallas County's most notorious Sheriff's, James E. Bill Decker. He was known for his fearlessness and being a fair lawman.
This once well-known luxury hotel and nightspot was owned by Actress Doris Day. The Beatles once stayed on the fourth floor during their first U.S. tour. It was later named the Dupont Plaza. This luxury hotel was purchased by Dallas County in 1985 for 9.2 million dollars and opened its doors in August of 1987.
"The Old Jail": In the area across of Dealy Plaza, stands a building that was constructed in 1913 and 1914. The Dallas County Criminal Courts Building and jail, which is on the corner of Main and Houston, and across from the 1890 Dallas County Courthouse known today as "Old Red," still stands today.
This innovative structure consists of two Dallas County Criminal District Courts, offices of the sheriff, the district attorney's office and the new county jail. The facility would later become known as the "Old Jail." The jail was contained on the upper floors of the Criminal Courts Building.
North Tower, Suzanne Kays and West Tower Jails
Dallas County purchased this property due to the rising number of prisoners. The county jails were simply overcrowded and the newly innovative and economical Decker Detention Center was the answer.
Once known to be the cabana area of the hotel is now a fully functional half-way house for sex offenders. The half-way house is not operated by the Dallas County Sheriff's Department but is leased to a private company
This facility was re-opened to provide housing for evacuees during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.
This facility can be re-opened and functional for 1080 inmates. When this situation arises, Work-Release inmates are usually the first to be housed within this facility. Work-Release is a program that was started during Sheriff Thomas's tenure.
This was thought to be an escape-proof jail due the building being a high-rise. Needless to say, many people escaped. Including members of Clyde Barrow's notorious gang.
Jack Ruby became a so called "guest" of the "Old Jail," when he was caught on film shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. Lee Harvey Oswald was detained by the City of Dallas Police Department until he was charged with felony murder, for the murder of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Oswald was being transferred into the County's custody when he was shot by Jack Ruby. Ruby was immediately taken into custody.
When the "Old Jail" was constructed, Dallas County still participated in hangings. Executions on gallows were conducted outside until the "Old Jail" was complete. "Death Row" prisoners were then hanged inside the "Old Jail" until the mid-twenties.
Currently, this jail is depopulated.