Soldiers charged with minor crimes seldom spend much time locked in the Coryell County jail.
“We don’t see as many (soldiers) as you might think,” said Lt. Rita Thomas, Coryell County Jail administrator. “We might see two a month. Not as many as in Bell County,” which houses as many as 10 a month, according to Bell County Jail Administrator Nancy Botkin.
Soldiers may be better prepared to post bail than many of the defendants in lockup. While it is not impossible for someone on active duty to qualify as indigent, it is rare.
“A PFC with one child might qualify,” said Mike Hull, who heads Coryell County’s pretrial services and determines whether a defendant is indigent. “E-4 and above wouldn’t qualify.”
Coryell County Sheriff Johnny Burks said the military does not have a “significant impact” on his jail operation.
“Once in a while we get a serious crime,” Burks said. “Most are minor cases, usually in and out. A lot of times the first sergeant is here the next morning to pick them up.”
Thomas said the Army requested that jail staff notify Fort Hood when a soldier is going to be released from the jail.
“We make the call and they come pick them up,” she said.
Soldiers in the jail are treated the same as other inmates, but there is one difference in their behavior.
“Military inmates tend to be somewhat more respectful,” she said.