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Ramsey II renamed for former Board chairman, Ramsey I now just Ramsey

The Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ) in April renamed the Ramsey II Unit in Rosharon for former TBCJ chairman Alfred “Mac” Stringfellow. The Board also renamed the adjacent Ramsey I Unit the Ramsey Unit.

Stringfellow was appointed to the nine-member Board of Criminal Justice in April 1997 and served as chairman from January 2000 to February 2003. During his tenure, Stringfellow worked with the Texas Legislature to substantially increase the salary and retirement benefits provided TDCJ employees. He also supported the expansion of the parole and correctional officer training programs to enhance supervision and security, and was an advocate of the American Correctional Association (ACA) accreditation process.

Under his oversight as chairman, the Boyd Unit near Teague became the first TDCJ unit to receive accreditation from the ACA. By the time Stringfellow left the Board in August 2003, more than 28 TDCJ facilities had been similarly accredited.

The 893-bed Ramsey II Unit opened in July 1908. A trusty camp houses another 319 offenders at the unit that employs approximately 320. The newly renamed Ramsey Unit opened at the same time as Ramsey II and houses approximately 1,760 offenders. Each unit was originally named for W.F. Ramsey, a former chairman of the state Prison Board.

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Senior staff promotions announced

Executive Director Brad Livingston in May announced the promotions of Rick Thaler and Michelle Lyons to senior staff positions. Thaler was named to head the agency’s Manufacturing and Logistics Division while Lyons was named director of the Public Information Office.

Thaler had served as the Correctional Institutions Division’s Region I director since September 2003. He joined the agency as a correctional officer in June 1980 and rose to the rank of warden in June 1992, a position he held at four different units over the next 12 years.

Lyons is a Texas A&M graduate who worked as a newspaper reporter in Bryan-College Station and Huntsville prior to joining TDCJ as a public information officer in 2001. She had served as interim director of the Public Information Office for a short time prior to her promotion.

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