A question!

Gentle Reader Jeff Wood asks:

“Would some kind soul explain “Max Pod” to this Brit in Italy?”


First you have to understand that a County jail in Texas is not the same as a prison.

A prison is used to house people who have been adjudicated guilty of committing one or more felonies. In order to be in prison, you have to be both A)found guilty; and B) found guilty of a felony.

A County jail is rather different.

County jails holds: A) anyone (in the case of Toadstomp County) awaiting trial for citations (traffic and otherwise) who cannot — for whatever reason — bond out;

B) anyone (in the case of Toadstomp County) who is sitting out time for citations (traffic and otherwise);

C) anyone awaiting trial for misdemeanors other than citations, who cannot — for whatever reason — bond out;

D) anyone who has been adjudicated guilty in misdemeanor court and sentenced to serve time (in Texas that can be up to a maximum of one year);

E) anyone awaiting trial for felony crimes who cannot — for whatever reason — bond out;

F) anyone who has been adjudicated guilty of felony crimes who is awaiting transport to prison;

G) anyone who has been adjudicated guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony, sentenced to probation, who has screwed the pooch on said probation and is awaiting a decision from the Probation Department and the judge on what to do about the case; and last, but certainly not least

H) anyone who has been released form prison on parole, who has screwed the pooch on their parole and is awaiting a decision from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles about what to do about their case.

As you can see, you can have an eclectic bunch in your standard Texas County jail. However, as my buddy MattG says, “You don’t want to throw the puppies in with the wolves” so there has to be some way of separating the “puppies” from the “wolves”.

At Toadstomp County we have three classifications of custody: Minimum, Medium and Maximum. Well, six actually. Female inmates can never be housed with males, for obvious reasons.

When someone comes into our tender custody we take a look at what their current arrest is, what their criminal history looks like, take a look at any past behaviour problems during any previous stays with us, and several other factors and come up with an initial classification of Minimum, Medium or Maximum.

Obviously traffic offenders sitting out tickets and non-violent misdemeanors are our Minimum inmates. Non-violent felonies, some and all other misdemeanors are typically Mediums, and assaultive felonies with past violent histories are our Maximums.

What I referred to as a “Pod” is actually a “Housing Area”. We have two types (four, counting the females): Minimum (MIN) and Maximum (MAX). Minimum classification inmates are only housed in MIN pods. Maximum classification inmates are only housed in MAX pods.

The art comes in when you find out that anyone classified as a Medium can either go into a MIN pod or a MAX pod — but that’s a post for another time.

So. When I say “Max pod” I’m talking about a housing area that holds inmates who are charged with assaultive felonies, who have past violent histories — either on their rap sheet or in our custody — and inmates who have been found guilty of a violent felony who are awaiting transport to prison.

Hope that helps.


Out of curiosity

16 thoughts on “A question!”

  1. Very much the same in Arkansas too, LD. Except with the addition of a Juvenile Pod (male) for those Juvie offenders deemed "too violent" to be housed in the local Juvenile Detention Center. Mostly, under 18-to-be-tried-as-adults accused murderers.

    Yes, that happens, sometimes at the point of a crossbow bolt.


  2. LawDog

    I coulda sworn you worked for Bugscuffle County.

    Mea Culpa.



  3. Dear Texas readers:

    Despite what you might think, you can be placed into custodial arrest (that is, thrown into jail) for any traffic offense except for two.

    So. What are the only two traffic offenses for which you can't be thrown in jail pending a hearing before a magistrate?

    I'm sure LawDog knows the answer. I await fellow readers chiming in with their guesses.

  4. Equipment violations and parking? Unless that's not classified as traffic violations….

  5. One looks in, and one's name leaps off the first line.

    My dear Lawdog, thank you for the explanation.

    We now live in west central Tuscany. About ten miles away as the crow flies,, and about twenty by Italian roads, one can see from our hillside village the hilltop town of Volterra, a fine centre of the alabaster trade.

    The place stands about 2,500 feet above sea level, and the hill on which is stands is steep enough to discourage anyone who proposes to take it. Really, when you have tramped up to the foot of the city walls through ambush and rolling boulders, and await the rocks and boiling oil, it is tempting to wonder if the effort is worth it.

    Now, to my point. At the east end of the town stands a magnificent mediaeval/Renaissance castle. I say magnificent, but it is devoid of decoration; just smooth walls ranging in height from forty to seventy feet. With overhanging battlements.

    I stood at the foot of the Citadel, thinking "Sugar, how do I take this place?". There was a heavy wooden door to my left, so I went to it with battering rams in mind.

    It turned out to be the State maximum security prison. I decided to return to modern times.

  6. KBCraig:

    That'd be speeding and open container. Got that one right on my last BPOC exam, at least.

    Don't ask me what the pemality is for burglary of a coin-operated machine, though.

  7. Did you leave Bugscuffle County for Toadstomp County while I was occupied elsewhere?

  8. Is it a law enforcement thing to refer too men and women as males and females? They're the only ones I've heard do it.

  9. Male and female are often used by law enforcement folks as adjectives to describe a person: a victim, a witness, a suspect, a prisoner. If you're using words regularly anyway I imagine you'll favor them in informal speech as well.

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  11. Hey Dog

    I heard today from the pulpit of the Bugscuffle Church and Bait Store that there was a terrible accident in our fine city. I have not been able to find any news article supporting the story, and wonder if you can confirm.

    Evidently, the 3YO child of a law enforcement officer was rummaging around in the mothers purse and encountered a firearm. Said child is now with Jesus, and the LEO's of your county along with the people of my church are in mourning.

    Do you have any details?

  12. May we live our life as if the maxim of our actions were to become universal law.

  13. Unknown,

    "Is it a law enforcement thing to refer too men and women as males and females? They're the only ones I've heard do it."

    Law enforcement, medicine, other situations where a person's physical sex is important without fogging things up with weird age judgments.

    The fifty-seven year-old detective might tell the rookie cop that the suspect was a boy. The 21-y.o. cop might then let the man walk right past him. Easier for all concerned to describe the person in question objectively as a "23-y.o. Male" and keep subjective descriptors out of the process.

  14. Unknown said…
    Is it a law enforcement thing to refer too men and women as males and females? They're the only ones I've heard do it.

    12:18 PM

    Military as well.


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