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In this issue

March/April 2018
Volume 25 Issue 4


ERS: Employees Retirement System of Texas. 'Summer Enrollment' clipart images of sun and water waves.This year's Employees Retirement System’s online Summer Enrollment runs from June 25 to July 7. After July 7, employees have until July 27 to make enrollment changes through their Human Resources representative or by calling the Employees Retirement System. With few exceptions, Summer Enrollment is the only time of the year when you can make changes to your benefits without a qualifying life event like the birth of a child, marriage or divorce.

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TBCJ member E.F. 'Mano' DeAyala.In TDCJ, volunteer-taught courses have become an effective way to reach many offenders who genuinely want to turn their lives around. One particular group of volunteers has especially high expectations for dramatic change and personal transformation in the offenders with whom they work: the Prison Entrepreneurship Program volunteers see themselves as servant leaders whose mission is to transform offenders through values based upon scripture and deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian principles.

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TDCJ executive director Bryan CollierHuman trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings; literally, a modern-day form of slavery. With its busy international border crossings and diverse population, Texas is an attractive location for those who buy and sell people for profit. Because TDCJ employees work in locations all around the state, from crowded cities to rural areas and the highways in between, we have a unique opportunity help stop human trafficking in Texas.

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Photo of a floral wreath with banner that reads 'honoring fallen TDCJ officers'.The Texas Department of Criminal Justice held its 19th annual Fallen Officers Memorial Ceremony on the Sesquicentennial Plaza at the Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville, as part of National Correctional Officers and Employees Week. This year’s ceremony held special significance as TDCJ honored the loss of Correctional Officer IV Shana R. Tedder of the Crain Unit in Gatesville.

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Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week 2018 banner. 'Restoring Trust. Creating Hope.' July 15-21, 2018.The 2018 Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week takes place from July 15 to 21. During PPPS Week, we celebrate those criminal justice professionals who work to keep our neighborhoods safe and secure. This year’s theme, Restoring Trust and Creating Hope, underscores the continued need to develop and strengthen community partnerships and programs.

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New TDCJ Inspector General Cris Love.At its April meeting, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice voted unanimously to approve the selection of Cris Love as Texas Department of Criminal Justice Inspector General, effective June 1. The Office of the Inspector General is an independent office which reports to the TBCJ and serves as TDCJ’s primary law enforcement and investigative unit.

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TDCJ Chief of Staff Jason Clark.Jason Clark has been named Chief of Staff for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, effective May 15. The Office of the Chief of Staff oversees Executive Services, Governmental Affairs, Media Services and the Emergency Action Center, and provides administrative support to the executive director and deputy executive director.

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TDCJ Parole Region two director Alethea Robinson.Alethea Robinson has been selected as the Region II director for the Parole Division, effective April 15. The Parole Division supervises offenders released from prison who are serving out their sentences in Texas communities.

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Photo of barn-shaped bat house, up on stilts, with bat-shaped logo in upper corner of one end.For years, an old TDCJ cotton warehouse by the Huntsville ‘Walls’ Unit housed a large colony of Mexican free-tailed bats. The aging warehouse needs to be torn down, so a plan was devised to provide a new, dedicated bat housing adjacent to the old warehouse. This video tracks progress on the project.

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Former Texas Prison Museum Director Jim Willett.Listening to Jim Willett speak about the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is like hearing an audiobook come to life. The former senior warden of the Huntsville Unit and the now-retired director of the Texas Prison Museum is a walking TDCJ history book.

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Photo of TDCJ employees Arnold Ortiz and Warden Troy Simpson with their governor's volunteer service awards framed certificates. In April, Warden Troy Simpson of the Jester I Unit and Arnold Ortiz, a Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Logistics Division Inventory Specialist who volunteers at the Ferguson Unit, were recognized during the 2018 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards ceremony in Austin.

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2017 Polunsky Unit Employee of the Year Shaun Munson.In April, former Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Allan B. Polunsky presented CO V Shaun Munson with the 2017 Polunsky Unit Employee of the Year Award at a ceremony held at the unit in Livingston. Officer Munson has worked at the Polunsky Unit for 23 years.

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Photo of Victim Services staff members Wendy Williamson and Amanda Gage placing the TDCJ wreath among the many others during the ceremony. During a National Crime Victims’ Week ceremony in San Antonio, TDCJ Victim Services Division staff members presented a wreath to honor crime victims and their advocates.

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Employee spotlight subject, correctional officer Timothy Tallman.Timothy Tallman has been with TDCJ since 1992, when he started as a Clerk II for Internal Affairs in Huntsville. He became a correctional officer in 1994, and currently works at the Allred Unit in Iowa Park. We recently caught up with Tim to learn a little more about him.

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