Why do you hate New Braunfels? I don’t ask this question to be smart-alecky or sarcastic. As I watch the latest tourism-related debate unfold, this time over a proposed disposable container ban on the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers, I get the sense that there is something more fundamental going on. New Braunfels is a unique place, and the impression I get is that there something about its very uniqueness that makes you feel genuinely frightened and uncomfortable.

I won’t spend a whole lot of time here debating the proposed ban. Many others have already laid out the arguments against it. The proposal is a pretty transparent attempt to regulate the consumption of alcohol on the rivers. Your own comments during the last council meeting indicate that banning alcohol is the proposal’s real purpose. And if you think for a moment that a court cannot see that, then you either underestimate the intelligence of state district judges or you reside in an alternate Alice-in Wonderland universe.



As I’ve previously reported, the status of the weekend jail program in Comal County has been up in the air for several months due to jail overcrowding. Because of a lack of bed space at the jail, the Comal County Jail has periodically suspended its weekend reporting program. As of now, the program is suspended, and neither of the Comal County courts-at-law are permitting weekend jail as part of a plea bargain agreement.

If you receive a misdemeanor jail sentence in the near future, you have two options: (1) serve the time straight, or (2) do house arrest with an electronic monitor. Unfortunately, you can only participate in the house arrest program if you have a minimum sentence of 30 days, live in Comal County, own a land line so that a monitor can be installed and have the funds to pay the probation department fees associated with the program.

A few days ago, Guadalupe and Comal counties announced an agreement by which the Guadalupe County Jail would begin accepting some Comal County prisoners. it’s still unclear whether or not this will make a significant dent in Comal County’s jail overcrowding problem, given that we have still not hit Summer, which is the busiest season of the year for the local lockup. On the other hand, the renovation of the Comal County Courthouse appears on schedule. Maybe the Commissioners’ Court can start housing inmates there.


If you get a jail sentence in Comal County, you might not have to worry anymore about starting a fight with other inmates over what TV show to watch in the jail rec room. Now you might be able to serve your jail sentence in your own private rec room, with a remote. A while back, this blog reported that the Comal County Jail was becoming overcrowded to the point that the jail was sometimes turning away defendants who had been order to report for weekend jail sentences. One of the ways that the county courts-at-law have responded is by starting he county's first house arrest program for adults.

If you are ordered to serve a jail sentence for a misdemeanor, the court may, if you make a request, order you to do your "jail" time at home. If you are in the program, you are given curfew times, during which you must be in your house. You are required to wear a GPS ankle monitor that transmits signals concerning your location to a private security company, which contracts with the County to provide the service. If you leave your house, or tamper with the monitor, during curfew hours, then local law enforcement is notified of the violation so that you may be arrested.

In addition, a friendly guy from the local probation department reserves the right to pop over to your house and check on you unannounced in order to make sure that you have not tampered with the monitor and to make sure that you aren't doing anything illegal in your home while under house arrest. If a person wants to participate in the program, he is screened by the local probation department and a recommendation is made to the court. There is no set of carved-in-stone rules that establish who does and does not qualify for the program. Generally, though, the probation department is looking for people with a non-violent, non-DWI offense, a relatively clean record, and no history of absconding.

In order for the monitor to work, you must have a telephone land line set up at your house. You must also pay to be in the program; the current cost is $6 a day. On the down side, you won't have an opportunity to get a jail tattoo, join a gang (unless they want to meet at your place), or get time carved off your sentence for good behavior. But it is a good excuse to get DirectTV and work your way through you NetFlix queue.

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