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An employee publication of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice


March 2022

TDCJ Mourns the Loss of Jose Ruiz

Jose Ruiz
Correctional Officer V
Hutchins State Jail

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is grieving the loss of an employee that is related to the COVID-19 virus.

48-year-old Jose Ruiz, Correctional Officer V at the Hutchins State Jail, died on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

Officer Ruiz had 18 years of service with TDCJ. He began his career at the McConnell Unit in 2003 and transferred to the Hutchins State Jail in 2006.

He tested positive for COVID-19 on January 9, 2022, and was placed in quarantine. He returned to work on January 20, 2022. On February 9, 2022, he began feeling ill while at work and went to a hospital in Dallas where he was admitted. His condition deteriorated since that time and he passed in the early morning hours on March 1, 2022.

“TDCJ expresses its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and co-workers of Officer Ruiz at the Hutchins State Jail,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “We are grateful for his 18 years of service to the citizens of Texas and we know that his passing will be felt deeply by those who loved him and worked with him.”

Hutchins State Jail warden Fredrick Merida said, “Officer Ruiz was dependable and took great pride in his job while striving for excellence. He always knew what to say to his co-workers to brighten their day. He will be greatly missed.”

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has had eighty-four employees who have died in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.