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Monitoring and Procedures for COVID-19

October 26, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of two offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

77-year-old Guadalupe Herrera Trevino died June 6, 2020, at a local hospital in San Antonio. He was transported from the Ney Unit in Hondo on May 23, 2020. Offender Trevino tested positive for COVID-19 on May 23, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that COVID-19 was the immediate cause of his death. He had served over one year on a 3-year sentence out of Taylor County.

47-year-old Timothy Black died June 8, 2020, at a local hospital in San Antonio. He was transported from the Ney Unit in Hondo on May 18, 2020. Offender Black tested positive for COVID-19 on May 14, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that COVID-19 was the immediate cause of his death. He had served over three years on a 4-year sentence out of Bowie County.

In total there have been 217,001 offenders and 76,003 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 23,348 offenders and 5,380 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 21,118 offenders and 4,724 employees who have recovered. There have been 164 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 44 under investigation. There have been 21 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




October 23, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of two offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

70-year-old John Daniel Evans died July 16, 2020, at a local hospital in Texas City. He was transported from the Carole Young Facility in Dickinson on July 13, 2020. Offender Evans tested positive for COVID-19 on July 16, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was the immediate cause of his death. He had served 24 years on a life sentence out of Harris County.

79-year-old Amador Toledo Flores died September 11, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Powledge Unit in Palestine on August 22, 2020. Offender Flores tested positive for COVID-19 on August 18, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served seven years on a 15-year sentence out of Smith County.

In total there have been 216,328 offenders and 75,552 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 23,303 offenders and 5,341 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 21,101 offenders and 4,712 employees who have recovered. There have been 162 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 45 under investigation. There have been 21 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




October 2, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Donald Parker
FSM Donald Parker

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

73-year-old Food Service Manager Donald Parker had over 9 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Neal Unit in Amarillo. His last day on the job was September 25, 2020. On September 28, 2020, Parker tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized at a local hospital. Parker died at the hospital on October 1, 2020.

“The TDCJ family is united in extending its thoughts and prayers to the loved ones of Donald Parker,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “He was undoubtedly loved and respected for going above and beyond in his service to the Neal Unit. His passing leaves a huge hole at the unit and in the TDCJ family. Mr. Parker will always be remembered.”

“Donald Parker loved his job and was extremely dedicated to the agency,” said Neal Unit Senior Warden Kevin Pinney. “He was known by all for handing out Werther’s Original candies to every staff member in every department. He was driven and loved his work. Everyone at the Neal Unit loved him and he will be greatly missed.”

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




September 24, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of six offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

84-year-old Charles Ray Mason died June 20, 2020, at a local hospital in College Station. He was transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota on June 9, 2020. Offender Mason tested positive for COVID-19 on June 9, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 32 years on multiple life sentences out of Dallas County.

63-year-old Ricardo Maldonado died August 25, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the McConnell Unit in Beeville on July 25, 2020. Offender Maldonado tested positive for COVID-19 on July 25, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 22 years on a 40-year sentence out of Wilson County.

54-year-old Angel Rene Mendez died May 7, 2020, at a local hospital in Huntsville. He was transported from the Estelle Unit in Huntsville on April 26, 2020. Offender Mendez tested positive for COVID-19 on April 24, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was the cause of his death. He had served eight years on a 35-year sentence out of Comal County.

55-year-old Gloria Proo died September 11, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. She was transported from the Crain Unit in Gatesville on August 29, 2020. Offender Proo tested positive for COVID-19 on August 29, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in her death. She had served three years on an 88-year sentence out of Bexar County.

74-year-old Ray Caballero Tapia died September 14, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Powledge Unit in Palestine on September 6, 2020. Offender Tapia tested positive for COVID-19 on September 4, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served three years on an 6-year sentence out of Tarrant County.

58-year-old Lee Rue Culp, Jr. died May 2, 2020, at a local hospital in Houston. He was transported from the Stringfellow Unit in Rosharon on May 1, 2020. Offender Culp tested positive for COVID-19 on May 2, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was the cause of his death. He had served one year on a 6-year sentence out of Dallas County.

In total there have been 205,284 offenders and 68,940 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 21,695 offenders and 4,749 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 20,548 offenders and 3,767 employees who have recovered. There have been 161 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 37 under investigation. There have been 20 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




September 14, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

60-year-old Russell Hill died April 19, 2020, at a local hospital in Lancaster. He was transported from the Hutchins State Jail in Dallas on April 16, 2020. Offender Hill tested positive for COVID-19 on April 17, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served two years on a seven-year sentence out of Bowie County.

56-year-old Willie Charles Price died April 26, 2020, at a local hospital in Dallas. He was transported from the Hutchins State Jail in Dallas on April 22, 2020. Offender Price tested positive for COVID-19 on April 24, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served two years on a four-year sentence out of Tarrant County.

58-year-old Matthew Clayton Pouncey died August 29, 2020, at a local hospital in Lubbock. He was transported from the Daniel Unit in Snyder and then from the Montford Unit in Lubbock on August 29, 2020. Offender Pouncey tested positive for COVID-19 on July 30, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly three years on a five-year sentence out of Dallas County.

49-year-old Clifford Danny Wright died September 7, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the East Texas Treatment Facility in Henderson on September 1, 2020. Offender Wright tested positive for COVID-19 on September 7, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nine months on a probation term out of Grayson County.

In total there have been 200,977 offenders and 66,311 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 21,544 offenders and 4,625 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 19,646 offenders and 3,611 employees who have recovered. There have been 155 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 39 under investigation. There have been 20 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




September 9, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of six offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

50-year-old James Johnson died July 23, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Vance Unit in Richmond on July 8, 2020. Offender Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 on July 7, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 13 years on a 25-year sentence out of Nueces County.

80-year-old Charles Ray Martin died May 21, 2020, at a local hospital in The Woodlands. He was transported from the Estelle Unit in Huntsville on May 13, 2020. Offender Martin tested positive for COVID-19 on April 27, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served three years on a life sentence out of Galveston County.

52-year-old Stephen Bentford McRae died August 25, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Wynne Unit in Huntsville on August 14, 2020. Offender McRae tested positive for COVID-19 on August 14, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served seven months on a 2-year sentence out of Navarro County.

67-year-old Deborah Lynn Pieringer died August 19, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. She was transported from the Carole Young Unit in Dickinson on July 29, 2020. Offender Pieringer tested positive for COVID-19 on July 23, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in her death. She had served 18 years on a life sentence out of Tarrant County.

52-year-old Rolston Lockett died August 20, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Cotulla Unit in Cotulla on July 9, 2020. Offender Lockett tested positive for COVID-19 on July 8, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 11 years on a 20-year sentence out of Bowie County.

68-year-old Albino Rodriguez Martinez died August 22, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on July 25, 2020. Offender Martinez tested positive for COVID-19 on June 21, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over eight years on a 21-year sentence out of Pecos County.

In total there have been 199,571 offenders and 65,835 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 21,440 offenders and 4,554 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 18,724 offenders and 3,477 employees who have recovered. There have been 151 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 39 under investigation. There have been 20 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




September 2, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of seven offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

59-year-old Ramon Castillo died August 14, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Hodge Unit in Rusk on July 6, 2020. Offender Castillo tested positive for COVID-19 on July 6, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 20 years on a 25-year sentence out of Bexar County.

61-year-old Karl Patrick Houlditch died August 13, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the McConnell Unit in Beeville on July 24, 2020. Offender Houlditch tested positive for COVID-19 on July 24, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 2 years on multiple 8-year sentences out of Harrison County.

70-year-old Joe Earl Thomas died July 25, 2020, at a local hospital in Beaumont. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on July 20, 2020. Offender Thomas tested positive for COVID-19 on June 26, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 31 years on a life sentence out of Victoria County.

77-year-old Jose Franco Vargas died July 19, 2020, at a local hospital in Port Arthur. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on June 27, 2020. Offender Vargas tested positive for COVID-19 on June 25, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in additional to pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served seven years on a 20-year sentence out of Bexar County.

55-year-old Vernell Smith died July 18, 2020, at a local hospital in Beaumont. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on July 14, 2020. Offender Smith tested positive for COVID-19 on July 18, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 31 years on a life sentence out of Harris County.

69-year-old Larry Larnail Gray died July 5, 2020, at a local hospital in Beaumont. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on June 30, 2020. Offender Gray tested positive for COVID-19 on June 26, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 20 years on a life sentence out of Harris County.

73-year-old Eleazar Avila-Guerrero died May 5, 2020 at a local hospital in Huntsville. He was transported from the Estelle Unit in Huntsville on May 1, 2020. Offender Avila-Guerrero tested positive for COVID-19 on April 27, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 27 years on a 50-year sentence out of Cameron County.

In total there have been 195,558 offenders and 63,689 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 20,647 offenders and 4,438 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 17,934 offenders and 3,365 employees who have recovered. There have been 146 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 40 under investigation. There have been 20 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




August 28, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

70-year-old Jacinto Salinse Cortez died August 5, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Cotulla Unit in Cotulla on July 13, 2020. Offender Cortez tested positive for COVID-19 on July 13, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 13 years on a 50-year sentence out of Tarrant County.

65-year-old Raymond Lonzo Kirbie died August 17, 2020, at a local hospital in Wichita Falls. He was transported from the Lindsey State Jail in Jacksboro on August 2, 2020. Offender Kirbie tested positive for COVID-19 on August 2, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 10 months on a 5-year sentence out of Henderson County.

63-year-old Sherman Albert Davis died July 28, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Terrell Unit in Rosharon on July 23, 2020. Offender Davis tested positive for COVID-19 on July 20, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 25 years on multiple life sentences out of Harris County.

52-year-old Stanley Leon Blackwell died May 3, 2020, at a local hospital in Huntsville. He was transported from the Byrd Unit in Huntsville on April 7, 2020. Offender Blackwell tested positive for COVID-19 on April 18, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 6 months on a life sentence out of Tarrant County.

In total there have been 193,785 offenders and 62,420 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 19,710 offenders and 4,355 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 17,744 offenders and 3,252 employees who have recovered. There have been 139 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 41 under investigation. There have been 20 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




August 27, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

James Weston, Jr.
CO James Weston, Jr.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

55-year-old Correctional Officer James Weston Jr. had over 13 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Johnston Unit in Winnsboro and his last day on the job was August 14, 2020. On August 20, 2020, Weston tested positive for COVID-19 and had been self-quarantining. Sadly, Weston was found dead in his home August 26, 2020.

“The thoughts and prayers of the TDCJ family are with the loved ones of Officer Weston,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “He was a dedicated public servant who went above and beyond. Officer Weston will be greatly missed.”

“James Weston loved his job and he was a vital part of the Johnston family,” said Johnston Unit Senior Warden Virgil McMullen. “Officer Weston was an expert marksman, known for his professionalism, and loved horses. He will be not be forgotten.”

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




August 25, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

64-year-old Michael Wesley Searcy died August 1, 2020, at a local hospital in Port Arthur. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on July 14, 2020. Offender Searcy tested positive for COVID-19 on August 1, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 14 years on a 60-year sentence out of Marion County.

70-year-old Bobby Neil Anderson died July 31, 2020, at a local hospital in Texas City. He was transported from the Carole Young Unit in Dickinson on July 23, 2020. Offender Anderson tested positive for COVID-19 on July 17, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly five years on a 5-year sentence out of Bee County.

53-year-old Ray Charles Walker died July 26, 2020, at a local hospital in Palestine. He was transported from the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony on July 24, 2020. Offender Walker tested positive for COVID-19 on July 26, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over nine years on multiple 20-year and 25-year sentences out of Bowie County.

73-year-old Francis Devassy Puther died August 18, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Segovia Unit in Edinburg on July 21, 2020. Offender Puther tested positive for COVID-19 on July 22, 2020. No autopsy was conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served one year on a 2-year sentence out of Collin County.

In total there have been 188,613 offenders and 61,525 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 19,599 offenders and 4,265 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 17,649 offenders and 3,159 employees who have recovered. There have been 135 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 42 under investigation. There have been 20 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




August 24, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

77-year-old Annie Mae Smith died July 29, 2020, at the Carole Young Unit in Dickinson, where she was assigned. Offender Smith tested positive for COVID-19 on July 14, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in her death. She had served 23 years on a life sentence out of Harris County.

63-year-old Jose Garcia Briseno died July 28, 2020, at a local hospital in Port Arthur. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on July 10, 2020. Offender Briseno tested positive for COVID-19 on July 7, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served seven years on multiple life sentences out of Dimmit and Webb Counties

62-year-old Richard Vara Pina died July 27, 2020, at a local hospital in Beaumont. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on July 13, 2020. Offender Pina tested positive for COVID-19 on July 14, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly four years on a 30-year sentence out of Guadalupe County.

72-year-old William Calahan died May 16, 2020, at a local hospital in Angleton. He was transported from the Terrell Unit in Rosharon on May 15, 2020. Offender Calahan tested positive for COVID-19 on May 16, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 11 years on a 40-year sentence out of Collin County.

In total there have been 188,548 offenders and 61,326 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 19,581 offenders and 4,245 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 17,517 offenders and 3,128 employees who have recovered. There have been 131 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 44 under investigation. There have been 20 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




August 21, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death an offender likely connected to the coronavirus.

67-year-old Gilbert Gonzales died July 27, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota on July 18, 2020. Offender Gonzales tested positive for COVID-19 on June 19, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 10 years on a 13-year sentence out of Fort Bend County.

In total there have been 187,678 offenders and 60,459 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 18,792 offenders and 4,146 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 16,070 offenders and 2,954 employees who have recovered. There have been 127 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 45 under investigation. There have been 20 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




August 20, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

60-year-old Ignacia Saucedo Garcia died July 23, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony on July 12, 2020. Offender Garcia tested positive for COVID-19 on July 6, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served one year on a 25-year sentence out of Dallas County.

63-year-old Miguel Angel Duarte died July 23, 2020, at a local hospital in Tyler. He was transported from the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony on July 15, 2020. Offender Duarte tested positive for COVID-19 on July 2, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 34 years on a life sentence out of Harris County.

58-year-old Clifford Lee Lewis died August 11, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Michael Unit in Tennessee Colony on July 26, 2020. Offender Lewis tested positive for COVID-19 on August 11, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 18 years on a 45-year sentence out of Bexar County.

69-year-old Valentin Lopez Gonzalez died August 13, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Ramsey Unit in Rosharon on July 17, 2020. Offender Gonzalez tested positive for COVID-19 on July 6, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 10 years on a 20-year sentence out of Guadalupe County.

In total there have been 184,386 offenders and 59,876 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 18,785 offenders and 4,091 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 15,981 offenders and 2,901 employees who have recovered. There have been 126 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 44 under investigation. There have been 20 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




August 18, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

CO V Herbert Garcia
CO V Herbert Garcia

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

57-year-old Correctional Officer V Herbert Garcia had nearly 30 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Southern Regional Transportation (SRT) Unit in Rosharon. On July 15, 2020, Garcia tested positive for COVID-19 and was transported the next day to Memorial Hermann Hospital Sugar Land the next day with complications. Officer Garcia passed away on August 18, 2020.

“Dedication to serve for nearly three decades takes a special person, a person like Officer Garcia,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “Herbert was a father, a grandfather, and a friend to all who met him. The thoughts and prayers of the entire TDCJ family are with all of those mourning his loss.”

“Officer Garcia was a leader and mentor in the TDCJ family,” said Senior Warden Michael Franks. “He will always be known for his signature phrase, ‘I been doing this a long time.’ Officer Garcia was a spiritual man and a deacon in his church. There was not a day that Officer Garcia did not have a smile on his face and always enjoyed life. He will be greatly missed.”

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




August 18, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of five offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

67-year-old Tommy Lee Freeman, died August 8, 2020 at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony on July 22, 2020. Offender Freeman tested positive for COVID-19 on July 22, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 34 years on a life sentence out of Limestone County.

66-year-old Fernando Pena, died August 6, 2020 at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Estelle Unit in Huntsville on July 28, 2020. Offender Pena tested positive for COVID-19 on July 29, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served four years on an 8-year sentence out of Hale County.

45-year-old Daniel Campos, died August 5, 2020 at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the McConnell Unit in Beeville on July 23, 2020. Offender Campos tested positive for COVID-19 on August 5, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nine years on a 65-year sentence out of Nueces County.

67-year-old Hugo Martinez, died July 13, 2020 at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 21, 2020. Offender Martinez tested positive for COVID-19 on June 5, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 15 years on a 20-year sentence out of Guadalupe County.

77-year-old Floyd Thomas Scott, died July 14, 2020 at a local hospital in Tyler. He was transported from the Duncan unit on June 14, 2020. Offender Scott tested positive for COVID-19 on June 5, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 21 years on a 35-year sentence out of Polk County.

In total there have been 181,776 offenders and 58,590 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 18,710 offenders and 4,040 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 15,576 offenders and 2,806 employees who have recovered. There have been 122 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 43 under investigation. There have been 19 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




August 17, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

CO V Elizabeth Jones
CO V Elizabeth Jones

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

58 year old Correctional Officer V Elizabeth Jones had 19 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Carole Young Unit in Dickinson. Jones tested positive for COVID-19 on July 29, 2020 and was hospitalized at Mainland Hospital on August 6, 2020. On August 8, 2020 she was transferred to Parkway Plaza Hospital in Houston. Officer Jones passed away on August 14, 2020.

“For nearly two decades Officer Jones was an example to all around her,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “Her selfless service was an inspiration that helped build a generation of Correctional Officers. The thoughts and prayers of the TDCJ family are with the friends and family of Officer Jones.”

“Elizabeth was loved by all and was truly the heartbeat of the unit,” said Carole Young Unit Senior Warden Kim Massey. “She was an inspiration to all of us and will never be replaced or forgotten by her fellow officers. Officer Elizabeth Jones will be missed dearly."

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




August 14, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Walterio Rodriguez
Walterio Rodriguez

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

67-year-old Chaplain II Walterio Rodriguez had 11 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Segovia Unit in Edinburg. Walter last worked there on July 15, 2020 and was hospitalized at McAllen Medical Center on July 20, 2020 where he tested positive for COVID-19. Chaplain Rodriguez passed away on August 13, 2020. Rodriguez also held various positions with his local church including Director of Children’s Church and the youth group.

“The Texas Department of Criminal Justice mourns one of our own who treasured bringing the word of God to those who need it,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “Walter made a transition in life to become a chaplain because of his love for others. We now return thoughts and prayers to his loved ones with the admiration and respect of the TDCJ family.”

“There aren’t enough people who follow their calling and serve,” said TDCJ Rehabilitation Division Director Christopher Carter. “To go from utility technician to prison chaplain is a huge leap that Walter took in faith. He used his story to help others changing countless lives. He will be always was respected among his peers and deeply missed.”

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




August 13, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of five offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

58-year-old Justin McKinley, died July 26, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Dominguez Unit in San Antonio on July 5, 2020. Offender McKinley tested positive for COVID-19 on June 25, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served two years on a 10-year sentence out of Travis County.

66-year-old Gustavo Coronado, died July 30, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Gist Unit in Beaumont on June 25, 2020. Offender Coronado tested positive for COVID-19 on June 22, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over four years on an 8-year sentence out of McLennan County.

59-year-old Fernando Garcia, died July 30, 2020, at a local hospital in Paris. He was transported from the Cole Unit in Bonham on July 7, 2020. Offender Garcia tested positive for COVID-19 on July 3, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over eight years on three stacked life sentences out of Dallas County.

67-year-old Jose Garza, died July 31, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Cotulla Unit in Cotulla on July 1, 2020. Offender Garza tested positive for COVID-19 on July 1, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 15 years on a 60-year sentence out of DeWitt County.

48-year-old Nicole Perez, died August 3, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. She was transported from the Carole Young Unit in Dickinson on July 26, 2020. Offender Perez tested positive for COVID-19 on July 27, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in her death. She had served three years on a 7-year sentence out of Medina County.

In total there have been 179,688 offenders and 58,088 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 18,554 offenders and 3,878 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 14,867 offenders and 2,561 employees who have recovered. There have been 117 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 43 under investigation. There have been 17 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




August 12, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

CO IV Lebouath Boua
CO IV Lebouath Boua

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

61-year-old Correctional Officer IV Lebouath Boua had 4 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony. He last worked there on July 10, 2020 and tested positive for COVID-19 on July 18, 2020. TDCJ was informed by his family that Boua was hospitalized in critical condition at Medical City Arlington on July 29, 2020. Officer Boua died on August 11, 2020.

“The Texas Department of Criminal Justice pauses and mourns the loss of an employee to this terrible virus,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “The passing of a dedicated public servant is a tragic loss with a wide-ranging impact. The family and friends of Lebouath Boua are in our thoughts and prayers. He will always be remembered.”

“He was respected among his peers always making a point to speak to everyone and ask how their day was going,” said Coffield Unit Senior Warden Kenneth Putnam. “His positive attitude was contagious and genuine. Officer Boua always had an easy manner about him and, and a big heart to match his smile. He will be greatly missed by all at the Coffield Unit.“

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




August 11, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Charles Chacon, Jr.
Charles Chacon, Jr.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

77-year-old Industrial Specialist IV Charles Chacon Jr. had 22 years of service with TDCJ and for the last seven years he was assigned to the Garment Factory at the McConnell Unit in Beeville. He was hospitalized with COVID symptoms on July 6, 2020 at Christus Spohn Hospital - Beeville and tested positive for COVID-19 July 13, 2020. On July 22, 2020, he was transferred to San Antonio Military Hospital for treatment. Chacon was a Vietnam veteran and served his country in the US Navy for over 20 years. Charles Chacon Jr. died in the early morning hours of August 11, 2020.

“It takes dedication to serve the state for more than two decades and our nation for 20 years before that,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “TDCJ is a family in all roles each one just as key to our operations. Any loss impacts every part of that family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Chacon family, McConnell Unit family, and the Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Logistics division. Charles Chacon Jr. will not be forgotten.”

“He was a very hard worker, dependable, friendly and known for being feisty at work,” said Bobby Lumpkin, TDCJ Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Logistics Director. “His sense of duty and hard work was instilled in him from his military service to his country, he displayed it every day. Mr. Chacon will be missed dearly.”

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




August 4, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Sergeant Richard Holley.
Sergeant Richard Holley

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

62-year-old Correctional Sergeant Richard Holley had 24 years of service with TDCJ and for the last six years he was assigned to the Goodman Unit in Jasper. After testing positive for COVID-19 he was hospitalized at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont on July 20, 2020. Sergeant Holley died early in the morning of August 4, 2020.

“For nearly a quarter century Richard Holley served the citizens of Texas without hesitation,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “Now we honor his life and that selfless service. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Holley family and the Goodman Unit family. Sergeant Holley will always be remembered.”

“He was always happy and encouraging and would get the job done no matter what it took,” said Bradley Hutchinson Senior Warden at the Goodman Unit. “He will be remembered not just for his dedication to TDCJ staff but also for playing Santa Claus in Jasper’s annual Christmas parade. We will miss him dearly at the Goodman Unit.”

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




August 3, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of two offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

57-year-old David Hernandez, died July 27, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on July 18, 2020. Offender Hernandez tested positive for COVID-19 on July 18, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 15 years on a 45-year sentence out of Bexar County.

56-year-old Osa Alohanaeke, died July 25, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Polunsky Unit in Livingston on July 12, 2020. Offender Alohanaeke tested positive for COVID-19 on July 25, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served five years on a 40 year sentence out of Fort Bend County.

In total there have been 170,902 offenders and 53,508 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 16,900 offenders and 3,497 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 12,493 offenders and 2,048 employees who have recovered. There have been 112 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 37 under investigation. There have been 14 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




July 31, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of three offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

72-year-old Dennis Lynn Lowry, died July 25, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Ramsey Unit in Rosharon on July 13, 2020. Offender Lowry tested positive for COVID-19 on July 7, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 15 years on a 20-year sentence out of Tarrant County.

55-year-old Ronnie James Sparks, died July 21, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Ramsey Unit in Rosharon on June 30, 2020. Offender Sparks tested positive for COVID-19 on June 29, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 22 years on a 45-year sentence out of Dallas County.

72-year-old John Preston Creech, died July 20, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on June 24, 2020. Offender Creech tested positive for COVID-19 on June 24, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 11 years on a life sentence out of Collin County.

In total there have been 167,256 offenders and 52,602 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 15,430 offenders and 3,401 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 11,666 offenders and 2,028 employees who have recovered. There have been 110 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 33 under investigation. There have been 14 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




July 29, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of five offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

65-year-old Reginal Dewayne Jones, died May 4, 2020, at the Robertson Unit in Abilene. Offender Jones tested positive for COVID-19 on May 4, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 16 years on a 55-year sentence out of Brazos County.

43-year-old Danyel Roshon Sims, died May 12, 2020, at a local hospital in Lubbock. He was transported from the Montford Unit in Lubbock on April 27, 2020. Offender Sims tested positive for COVID-19 on April 24, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 10 years on an 18-year sentence out of Harris County.

75-year-old Mario Olvera-Vasquez, died May 12, 2020, at a local hospital in Amarillo. He was transported from the Clements Unit in Amarillo on April 16, 2020. Offender Olvera-Vasquez tested positive for COVID-19 on April 16, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served five years on multiple 12-year sentences out of McLennan County.

76-year-old Rafael Cruz, died May 25, 2020, at a local hospital in Amarillo. He was transported from the Clements Unit in Amarillo on May 18, 2020. Offender Cruz tested positive for COVID-19 on April 27, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over nine years on an 18-year sentence out of Brazos County.

67-year-old Juan Torres, died July 6, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 10, 2020. Offender Torres tested positive for COVID-19 on June 11, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 17 years on a 20-year sentence out of Bexar County.

In total there have been 163,362 offenders and 51,342 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 15,285 offenders and 3,288 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 11,241 offenders and 1,931 employees who have recovered. There have been 107 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 30 under investigation. There have been 14 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




July 28, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Eric Johnson.
CO V Eric Johnson

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

37-year-old Correctional Officer V Eric Johnson had more than 18 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Byrd Unit in Huntsville. After testing positive for COVID-19 he was hospitalized at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bryan on Sunday July 26, and sadly, officer Johnson died the next day.

“The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is thought of as a family. We work together, protect together and now mourn together,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “This loss is even greater because it effects so many. Officer Johnson’s wife, father, step-mother, uncle, and sister-in-law all are TDCJ Officers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. We thank all for their service. Eric Johnson will not be forgotten.”

“Officer Johnson was best known for having a constant smile, positive word of encouragement and an over the top personality. He was well respected and liked by everyone he came in to contact with, said Byrd Unit Assistant Warden Michael James. “The passing of Officer Johnson is a great loss to the Byrd Unit, he will be sorely missed and always remembered.”

Officer Eric Johnson leaves behind his wife Charity, and four children.

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




July 27, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Ruben Martinez.
CO IV Ruben Martinez

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

48-year-old Correctional Officer IV Ruben Martinez had nearly 2 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Lopez State Jail in Edinberg. Martinez tested positive for COVID-19 July 13, 2020. Six days later, he began having complications from the virus and was admitted into Edinburg Children’s Hospital where he passed away on Sunday July 26, 2020.

“One of the core values of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is courage. That is what Officer Martinez showed all of us,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire Texas Department of Criminal Justice are with Officer Martinez family and friends.”

“Officer Martínez provided an unwavering service to the López State Jail,” said Juan Garcia, Senior Warden at the Segovia/Lopez Complex. “Officer Martínez was a family man and always having a positive attitude he was always there to lend a fellow co-worker a hand. Officer Martínez is greatly missed.”

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




July 24, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

64-year-old Elijah Neighbors, died April 18, 2020, at a local hospital in Huntsville. He was transported from the Wynne Unit in Huntsville on April 17, 2020. Offender Neighbors tested positive for COVID-19 on April 18, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 12 years on a life sentence from Victoria County.

72-year-old Mario Limone Saucedo, died June 24, 2020, at a local hospital in Beaumont. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on June 2, 2020. Offender Saucedo tested positive for COVID-19 on May 12, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to pre-existing health conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 17 years on three consecutive 12-year sentences from Menard County.

64-year-old Gary Hampton, died April 25, 2020, at a local hospital in Huntsville, He was transported from the Wynne Unit in Huntsville on April 17, 2020. Offender Hampton tested positive for COVID-19 on April 17, 2020. Final autopsy results indicate that in addition to pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 16 years on a life sentence from Tarrant County.

59-year-old Carl Malone, died July 16, 2020, at a local hospital in Palestine. He was transported from the Coffield Unit in Palestine on July 11, 2020. Offender Malone tested positive for COVID-19 on June 2, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 36 years on a life sentence from Harris County.

In total there have been 155,214 offenders and 48,769 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 13,660 offenders and 3,002 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 10,534 offenders and 1,683 employees who have recovered. There have been 102 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 28 under investigation. There have been 12 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




July 23, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

74-year-old Elias Villanueva, Jr., died July 1, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Estelle Unit in Huntsville on June 30, 2020. Offender Villanueva tested positive for COVID-19 on May 2, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 6 years on a 20-year sentence from Bell County.

75-year-old Willie Koehler, died July 4, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on June 26, 2020. Offender Koehler tested positive for COVID-19 on June 27, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 11 years on a life sentence from Brazoria County.

82-year-old Jimmy Ray Price, died July 6, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 17, 2020. Offender Price tested positive for COVID-19 on June 18, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 24 years on a 25-year sentence from Panola County.

79-year-old Ambrosio Salinas, died July 10, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 14, 2020. Offender Salinas tested positive for COVID-19 on June 5, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 16 years on a 25-year sentence from Nueces County.

In total there have been 154,652 offenders and 48,617 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 13,601 offenders and 2,939 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 10,414 offenders and 1,661 employees who have recovered. There have been 98 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 28 under investigation. There have been 12 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




July 22, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Sandra Rivera.
Sandra Rivera

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

50-year-old Assistant Commissary Manager Sandra Rivera had more than 7 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Torres Unit near San Antonio. After testing positive for COVID-19, Rivera had been being treated in a San Antonio area hospital since July 7, 2020. She passed away July 21, 2020.

“TDCJ employees serve Texas selflessly which only increases the enormity of this loss,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “Ms. Rivera fought the good fight against this virus, but we know she is in a better place. My thoughts and prayers and those of the entire Texas Department of Criminal Justice are with Ms. Rivera’s family and friends. She will never be forgotten.”

“Ms.Rivera was an extremely hardworking and dedicated employee known for always coming in with a smile on her face,” said Ron Steffa, TDCJ Chief Financial Officer. “She will be remembered always for boosting those around her with her energetic personality. Ms. Rivera was a major asset to this agency will be greatly missed.”

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




July 20, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Jackson Pongay.
CO IV Jackson Pongay

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

56-year-old Correctional Officer IV Jackson Pongay had more than 4 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Lychner State Jail in Humble. He last worked at the facility on June 25, 2020. After testing positive for COVID-19, Pongay had been being treated at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston since July 5, 2020. He had been stable, but passed away early Sunday morning July 19, 2020.

“The loss of someone selflessly serving Texas is hard to fathom,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “The Texas Department of Criminal Justice family in gray is strong and so is the power of our thoughts and prayers which are with Officer Pongay’s family and friends. He is remembered always.”

“Officer Pongay was a kindhearted soul with a big personality that would go out of his way to assist fellow employees,” said Tanya Wilson Assistant Warden at the Pam Lychner State Jail. “He was never seen at work with a frown on his face, and he did not know a stranger. Jackson loved cooking and his specialty was food from his native West Liberia which he would share with everyone. He is missed.”

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




July 15, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Jerry Esparza.
CO V Jerry Esparza

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

46-year-old Correctional Officer V Jerry Esparza had more than 25 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Jester III Unit in Richmond. After testing positive for COVID-19, Esparza had been being treated at Memorial Herman Sugarland Hospital since June 17, 2020. He passed away early this morning July 15, 2020.

“In these trying times, the death of a member of the TDCJ family fighting so hard against this virus is a tragic loss,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “My prayers and those of the entire agency are with Officer Esparza’s loved ones and friends. He will always be remembered.”

“He was a dedicated family man, an amazing father to his kids, husband to his wife and had been a committed employee to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for decades,” said L.E. Townsend, Senior Warden at the Jester III Unit. “He was the backbone of third shift known to light up the room with his presence. His absence will leave a void that nobody can replace.”

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




July 14, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

 
Joseph William Lange.
Joseph William Lange

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) joins the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles in grieving the loss of a long-time board employee of that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

56-year-old Joe Lange was most recently employed as an Analyst at the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. That was just the most recent title in his 25 years of service to the State of Texas His career at the Board started as a clerk in 1994, and included numerous advances over the years including Clerical Supervisor, Program Administrator, Parole Officer V, Clemency Director, and Staff Development Manager. Lange died July 1st.

His colleagues at the BPP called Lange, “dedicated and committed,” and “a friendly team-player.”

“Joe was admired and respected by his colleagues not only in Austin but around the state. His contributions to the Board of Pardons and Paroles over the years have been immense,” said David Gutierrez, the Presiding Officer of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. “The thoughts and prayers of all members of the BPP family are with Joe’s loved ones.”




July 13, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of three offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

71-year-old Alvin Murray, died June 28, 2020, at a local hospital in Tyler. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 12, 2020. Offender Murray tested positive for COVID-19 on June 8, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 3 years on a 20-year sentence from Houston County.

73-year-old Gilbert Gomez, died June 29, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 18, 2020. Offender Gomez tested positive for COVID-19 on June 19, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 9 years on a 25-year sentence from Harris County.

70-year-old Jose Faide Morones, died June 29, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 9, 2020. Offender Morones tested positive for COVID-19 on June 5, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 15 years on a 25-year sentence from Harris County.

In total there have been 134,568 offenders and 41,814 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 12,007 offenders and 2,160 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 7,695 offenders and 1,165 employees who have recovered. There have been 94 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 26 under investigation. There have been 9 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




July 8, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of three offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

70-year-old Baldemar Deleon, Jr., died June 25, 2020, at a local hospital in Jacksonville. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 6, 2020. Offender Deleon tested positive for COVID-19 on June 5, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 14 years on a 50-year sentence from Collin County.

72-year-old Raynaldo Perez, died June 28, 2020, at a local hospital in Port Arthur. He was transported from the Stiles Unit in Beaumont on June 28, 2020. Offender Perez tested positive for COVID-19 on June 28, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing cause of death. He had served over 26 years on a 30-year sentence from Victoria County.

66-year-old Phillip Daniel Tompkins, died June 28, 2020, at a local hospital in Richmond. He was transported from the Jester III Unit in Richmond on June 19, 2020. Offender Tompkins tested positive for COVID-19 on June 20, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 39 years on a life sentence from Harris County.

In total there have been 130,438 offenders and 40,102 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 10,556 offenders and 1,927 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 7,403 offenders and 1,063 employees who have recovered. There have been 91 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 26 under investigation. There have been 9 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




July 7, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

61-year-old David Rene Martinez, died June 21, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Michael Unit in Tennessee Colony to a local hospital on May 22, 2020, and then to Hospital Galveston on June 4, 2020. Offender Martinez tested positive for COVID-19 on May 22, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing cause in his death. He had served 2 years on a 65-year sentence from Harris County.

65-year-old Alvin Ray Spencer, died June 25, 2020, at the West Texas Hospital in Lubbock. He was transported from the Smith Unit in Lamesa on May 11, 2020. Offender Spencer tested positive for COVID-19 on May 11, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 18 years on a 35-year sentence from Eastland County.

51-year-old Paul Alexander Casiano, died June 27, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Dominguez Unit in San Antonio on June 23, 2020. Offender Casiano tested positive for COVID-19. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 1 year on a 6-year sentence from Kendall County.

71-year-old James Lee Price, died June 24, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 6, 2020. Offender Price tested positive for COVID-19 on June 7, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing cause in his death. He had served 2 years on a 7-year sentence from Tarrant County.

In total there have been 128,796 offenders and 38,460 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 9,592 offenders and 1,782 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 7,376 offenders and 999 employees who have recovered. There have been 88 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 29 under investigation. There have been 9 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




July 6, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

CO Kenneth Harbin
CO Kenneth Harbin

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

60-year-old Correctional Officer V Kenneth Harbin had more than 30 years of service with TDCJ and he was assigned to the Daniel Unit in Snyder. After testing positive for COVID-19, Harbin had been being treated at Covenant Hospital in Lubbock since June 28, 2020. He was showing signs of improvement, but Officer Harbin took an unexpected rapid turn for the worse and died the morning of July 4th.

“Every death of one of our own is a tragic loss, said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “The thoughts and prayers of his family in gray are with Officer Harbin’s loved ones and friends. He will not be forgotten.”

“Officer Harbin was a great Correctional Officer and a better friend. He was always had a smile or a joke to make the day better! He always uplifted those around him and would take time out of his day to make sure you were ok,” said Daniel Unit Senior Warden Michael Britt. “He was a selfless person and gave all he could to those he loved.”

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has had eight employees pass away in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.




July 1, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of an offender likely connected to the coronavirus.

62-year-old, Tommy Russ Shoefstall, died June 21, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota on June 13, 2020. Offender Shoefstall tested positive for COVID-19 on June 8, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 25 years on a 60-year sentence from Clay County.

In total there have been 117,765 offenders and 35,662 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 8,811 offenders and 1,556 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 7,004 offenders and 950 employees who have recovered. There have been 84 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 28 under investigation. There have been 8 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 30, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

71-year-old Daniel Perez Martinez, died June 16, 2020, at a local hospital. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 9, 2020. Offender Martinez tested positive for COVID-19 on June 8, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 10 years on a 25-year sentence from Harris County.

49-year-old James Brewer, died June 16, 2020, at the Jester III Unit in Richmond. Offender Brewer tested positive for COVID-19 on June 2, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 7 years on a 30-year sentence from Dallas County.

55-year-old Lewis Anderson, died June 16, 2020, at a local hospital. He was transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota on June 7, 2020. Offender Anderson tested positive for COVID-19 on June 7, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 24 years on a 40-year sentence from Tarrant County.

68-year-old Jesus Rodriguez, died June 18, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota on May 30, 2020. Offender Rodriguez tested positive for COVID-19 on May 23, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 3 years on an 8-year sentence from Bell County.

In total there have been 117,688 offenders and 35,407 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 8,250 offenders and 1,455 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 6,791 offenders and 928 employees who have recovered. There have been 83 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 30 under investigation. There have been 8 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 26, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

62-year-old Stephen Allan Fox, died June 14, 2020, at a local hospital in Bryan. He was transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota on May 29, 2020. Offender Fox tested positive for COVID-19 on May 23, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of pre-existing medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 21 years and 6 months on a 99-year sentence from Palo Pinto County.

63-year-old Frankie Randall, died June 15, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 10, 2020. Offender Randall tested positive for COVID-19 on June 8, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 14 years and 9 months on a 25-year sentence from Dallas County.

67-year-old David Turner, died June 16, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 14, 2020. Offender Turner tested positive for COVID-19 on June 5, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 3 years and 6 months on a 25-year sentence from Comal County.

59-year-old James Robert Sampley, died June 19, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota on May 25, 2020. Offender Sampley tested positive for COVID-19 on May 30, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that in addition to a number of prior medical conditions, COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 5 years and 9 months on a 15-year sentence from Eastland County.

In total there have been 115,711 offenders and 34,935 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 7,821 offenders and 1,321 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 6,780 offenders and 915 employees who have recovered. There have been 79 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 27 under investigation. There have been 8 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 25, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of three offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

61-year-old Jose Guzman, died May 28, 2020, at a local hospital. He was transported from the Michael Unit in Tennessee Colony on May 19, 2020. Offender Guzman tested positive for COVID-19 on May 19, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 16 years on a 20-year sentence from Hidalgo County.

63-year-old Edward Hawkins Jr., died June 11, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Terrell Unit in Rosharon on May 27, 2020. Offender Hawkins tested positive for COVID-19 on June 9, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 16 years on a 45-year sentence from Galveston County.

67-year-old Terry Lee Walls, died June 14, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Jester III Unit in Richmond on June 5, 2020. Offender Walls tested positive for COVID-19 on June 5, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 15 years on a 25-year sentence from Harris County.

In total there have been 113,456 offenders and 34,243 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 7,653 offenders and 1,293 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 6,625 offenders and 908 employees who have recovered. There have been 75 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 31 under investigation. There have been 8 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 24, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of three offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

52-year-old Richard Calvin Gipson, died May 26, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Michael Unit in Tennessee Colony on May 8, 2020. Offender Gipson tested positive for COVID-19 on May 8, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 14 years on a life sentence from Smith County.

79-year-old Antonio Fernandez Ayala, died June 4, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll on June 1, 2020. Offender Ayala tested positive for COVID-19 on June 1, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 3 years on a 15-year sentence from Johnson County.

70-year-old Stephen Lewis Smith, died June 4, 2020, at a local hospital. He was transported from the Michael Unit in Tennessee Colony on June 3, 2020. Offender Smith tested positive for COVID-19 on June 4, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served over 10 years on a life sentence from Denton County.

In total there have been 111,752 offenders and 33,402 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 7,611 offenders and 1,270 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 6,551 offenders and 882 employees who have recovered. There have been 72 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 33 under investigation. There have been 8 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 23, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of two offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

65-year-old James Gibson, died June 13, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota on May 28, 2020. Offender Gibson tested positive for COVID-19 on May 29, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that he suffered from multiple medical conditions and that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served 27 years on a 35-year sentence from Bexar County.

71-year-old Henry Daniel Farr, died June 18, 2020, at the Duncan Unit in Diboll. Offender Farr tested positive for COVID-19 on June 5, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death. He had served nearly 18 years on a 20-year sentence from Harris County.

In total there have been 108,367 offenders and 32,116 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 7,575 offenders and 1,226 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 6,255 offenders and 843 employees who have recovered. There have been 69 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 34 under investigation. There have been 8 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 22, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of three offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

76-year-old Jimmy Ray Malone, died June 15, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota to a local hospital on May 31, 2020, and then to Hospital Galveston on June 14, 2020. Offender Malone tested positive for COVID-19 on May 31, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests COVID-19 was a contributing cause of death. He had served 1 year and 7 months on a 7 year sentence from Collin County.

69-year-old Gerald Earl Gilbert, died June 15, 2020, at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll to a local hospital on June 5, 2020, and then to Hospital Galveston on June 10, 2020. Offender Gilbert tested positive for COVID-19 on June 6, 2020. There was no autopsy conducted, but medical evidence suggests COVID-19 was a contributing cause of death. He had served nearly 17 years on a 20 year sentence from Harris County.

In total there have been 108,322 offenders and 32,078 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 7,561 offenders and 1,209 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 6,226 offenders and 833 employees who have recovered. There have been 67 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 35 under investigation. There have been 8 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 19, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of an offender likely connected to the coronavirus.

62-year-old Earnest Jones Jr., died June 12, 2020, at a hospital in Bryan after being transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota on June 11, 2020. He tested positive for COVID-19 on June 4, 2020. Offender Jones had multiple underlying health conditions, and preliminary autopsy results indicate that COVID-19 was a contributing cause in his death. He had served 6 years on a 12-year sentence from Houston County.

In total there have been 108,291 offenders and 32,001 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 7,535 offenders and 1,185 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 6,227 offenders and 826 employees who have recovered. There have been 64 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 32 under investigation. There have been 8 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 19, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Dear TTUHSC Managed Care & TDCJ Staff,

It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that I notify you of the passing of Mr. Robert Armstrong, NP Sanchez facility. Mr. Armstrong served as DON and Facility Health Administrator for the Sanchez unit from 1998-2002 and as our Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) from 2013 until the time of his death on June 16, 2020. “Bob” was one of the most dedicated, committed professionals that I have had the opportunity to work with, a Hero in every sense of the word. For those of you who knew him I am sure you found him to be intelligent, articulate and skilled. He had a golden service heart and was the epitome of “Beyond Service”. His dedication to Managed Care and the Sanchez facility were unparalleled and he will be sorely missed.

Sincerely,

Denise DeShields, M.D.
Executive Medical Director
TTUHSC Managed Care




June 16, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

TDCJ Ready to Begin Limited Intake of Offenders from County Jails

Beginning July 1st, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) will resume the intake of offenders from county jails on a limited basis. The TDCJ, in coordination with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, began an aggressive testing campaign in May.

Since that time, more than 125,000 tests have been completed on staff and offenders across the system. The information gleaned from this testing has allowed the agency greater flexibility to move COVID-free offenders within the system.

“TDCJ has tested more individuals than any other correctional system in the country,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “With this baseline information, the agency is prepared to slowly and safely begin the process of receiving county jail offenders.”

The TDCJ will coordinate with each county and go through a COVID-19 screening process to ensure the offender is suitable for intake. Once the individual arrives, he or she will be screened by medical personnel and housed separately from the general TDCJ population for at least 14 days. The individual will then be transferred to a COVID-free housing area in the general population. The agency will initially bring in approximately 250 offenders a week and will monitor data to make decisions about expansion.




June 15, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 5 offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

28-year-old Nicolas Andres Sanchez, died June 2, 2020, after being transported to a local hospital from the Jester III Unit in Richmond on May 20, 2020. Offender Sanchez tested positive for COVID-19 on May 22, 2020. He had served 1 year on a 3 year sentence from Dallas County. The preliminary results of an autopsy indicated that COVID-19 was a contributing cause of death.

72-year-old Michael Lynn Sprague, died June 4, 2020, after being transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota to a local hospital on May 25, 2020. Offender Sprague tested positive for COVID-19 on May 23, 2020. He had served 30 years on a life sentence from Dallas County. The preliminary results of an autopsy suggest COVID-19 was a contributing factor in his death.

59-year-old Roy Lee Bosier, died June 6, 2020, after being transported from the Estelle Unit in Huntsville to Hospital Galveston on May 14, 2020. Offender Bosier tested positive for COVID-19 on May 10, 2020. He had served 29 years on a 99 year sentence from Harris County. There was no autopsy conducted, but evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing cause of death.

83-year-old David Erasmo Garcia, died June 7, 2020, after being transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll to Hospital Galveston on June 2, 2020. Offender Garcia tested positive for COVID-19 on June 1, 2020. He had served 25 years on a 30 year sentence for murder from Dimmit County. There was no autopsy conducted, but evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing cause of death.

62-year-old Florencio Zarate Salas, died June 12, 2020, after being transported from the Duncan Unit in Diboll to Hospital Galveston on June 10, 2020. Offender Salas tested positive for COVID-19 on June 5, 2020. He had served eleven years of a 15 year sentence from Hidalgo County. There was no autopsy conducted, but evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing case of death.

In total there have been 107,684 offenders and 31,547 employees tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 7,445 offenders and 1,116 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. There have been 4,719 offenders and 740 employees who have recovered. There have been 54 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 35 under investigation. There have been 8 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 15, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

TDCJ to Begin Limited Transfers of Offenders into Programming

Beginning June 15th, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) will resume the transfer of offenders into parole voted programs.

The TDCJ will use information gathered during the testing campaign to begin the limited transfer of COVID-free offenders already in the system to other facilities within the system to begin parole release programming.

“An aggressive testing campaign allows the agency greater flexibility in the movement of COVID-free offenders within our system,” said Bryan Collier, TDCJ Executive Director. “I am hopeful we will complete the transfer of COVID-free offenders scheduled to begin parole release programming to their relevant facilities within approximately 30 days.”

The TDCJ, in coordination with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, began an aggressive testing campaign in May. Since that time, more than 125,000 tests have been completed on staff and offenders across the system.




June 12, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Thomas Ogungbire

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

54-year-old Correctional Officer V Thomas Ogungbire’s death is currently under investigation. Ogungbire called in sick to the Hutchins State Jail in Dallas on April 14, 2020. On April 20th, he tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized with symptoms. On May 17th, Ogungbire was transferred to Baylor Hospital in Dallas. Recently, Officer Ogungbire was making progress and had been weaned off oxygen but he took an unexpected turn for the worse and passed away yesterday evening. He was a 10-year veteran of TDCJ.

“Officer Ogungbire could not have fought harder and we had prayed that he would win his fight,” said Bryan Collier Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. “Losing someone your hold dear has no measure. The fact that Officer Ogungbire fought so hard for so long makes that even tougher. We can only hope that the thoughts and prayers of the TDCJ family are some comfort to his friends and family.”

Thomas Adedayo Ogungbire is survived by his wife Elizabeth, their two sons Tunji and Ayo, and the rest of the extended family. His family says he was a great father, friend, a lover of Christ, and a hardworking individual.




June 10, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 3 offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

70-year-old Isidro Hernandez died June 5, 2020 after being transported to Hospital Galveston. Hernandez was hospitalized from the Pack Unit in Navasota on May 28th, suffering from COVID-19 possible symptoms. He also suffered from a number of preexisting conditions and did test positive for the virus. Hernandez had served 16 years of a 50-year sentence out of Bell County. The preliminary results of an autopsy suggest a contributing cause of death is COVID-19.

Charles Hart died June 6, 2020 at Hospital Galveston he was 71 years old. He was transported from the Pack Unit in Navasota to the hospital on June 2, 2020. Hart had tested positive for COVID-19. No autopsy was ordered by the medical examiner, but evidence suggests COVID-19 is likely a contributing cause of death. He suffered from a number of pre-existing health conditions and had tested positive for the virus. Hart had served nearly 38 years of a life sentence out of Dallas County.

George Bond died on June 9, 2020 after being transferred to Hospital Galveston from the Duncan Unit in Diboll. Bond was 79 years old and suffered from a number of pre-existing health conditions. Bond had tested positive for COVID-19 and the medical examiner did not approve an autopsy, but medical evidence suggests the virus is likely a contributing cause of death. He had served 2 years of a 15-year sentence from Titus county.

In total there have been 101,119 offenders and 29,734 employees tested. 7200 offenders and 1071 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. Overall, there is currently a 7.5 percent positive rate on the combined testing, and a 5.2 percent positive rate on the asymptomatic testing. 2,679 offenders and 659 staff have recovered from the virus. There have been 49 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 30 under investigation. There have been 7 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 9, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 4 offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

Cedric Dewayne Lacy died May 28, 2020 at Hospital Galveston he was 65 years old. He was transported from the Pack Unit to the hospital on May 12, 2020. Preliminary autopsy results suggest COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death. He suffered from a number of pre-existing health conditions and had tested positive for the virus. Lacy had served nearly 30 years of a 45-year sentence out of Dallas County.

65-year-old David Brooks died May 28, 2020 after being transported to Hospital Galveston. Brooks was hospitalized from the Pack Unit on May 12th, suffering from COVID-19 possible symptoms. He also suffered from a number of preexisting conditions and did test positive for the virus. Brooks had served 45 years of a life-year sentence out of Harris County. The preliminary results of an autopsy suggest a contributing cause of death is COVID-19.

Jose Perez died on May 30, 2020 three days after being transferred to Hospital Galveston from the Wynne Unit in Huntsville. Perez was 70 years old and suffered from a number of pre-existing health conditions. Perez had tested positive for COVID-19 and the preliminary results of an autopsy suggest the virus is likely a contributing cause of death. He had served 11 years of a 90-year sentence from El Paso county.

62-year-old Joe Channel died June 2, 2020 after being transported to Hospital Galveston from the Gist Unit on May 24, 2020. Channel had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and it is presumed to be a cause of death. The family declined an autopsy. Channel did suffer from a number of pre-existing health conditions. He had served 10 months of a 3 year sentence from Nacogdoches County.

In total there have been 92,647 offenders and 26,602 employees tested. 6922 offenders and 1031 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. Overall, there is currently a 7.5 percent positive rate on the combined testing. 2,330 offenders and 574 staff recovered. There have been 46 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 32 under investigation. There have been 7 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 4, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of an offender likely connected to the coronavirus.

Herman Martinez died May 28, 2020 at Hospital Galveston. He was 70 years old and was transferred from the Estelle Unit on May 12th. Martinez tested positive for COVID-19 and suffered from significant pre-existing conditions. Preliminary autopsy results suggest the virus as a contributing cause of death. Martinez had served 6 years of a 15-year sentence out of Bexar County.

In total there have been 71, 167 offenders and 21,801 employees tested. 6,666 offenders and 988 staff have tested positive with a 7 percent positive rate on strike team testing. 1713 offenders and 988 staff recovered. There have been 42 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 27 under investigation. There have been 7 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




June 2, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of an offender likely connected to the coronavirus.

David Quintero died May 10, 2020 at the Jester III Unit. He was 70 years old. He did test positive for COVID-19 and preliminary autopsy results suggest the virus as a contributing cause of death. Quintero had served 7 years of a 15-year sentence out of Bexar County.

In total there have been 62,937 offenders and 20,180 employees tested. 6,398 offenders and 952 staff have tested positive with a 7 percent positive rate on strike team testing. 1512 offenders and 443 staff recovered. There have been 40 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 29 under investigation. There have been 7 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




May 29, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

74-year-old Jester III Unit offender Edward Chandler Hughes Jr. May 25th. Hughes tested positive for COVID-19 on May 17th and was transferred to Hospital Galveston. He suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions. His family declined an autopsy, but COVID-19 is presumed to be a contributing cause of his death. Hughes had served 48 years of a life sentence from Dallas County.

David Uhrich died May 19th at Hospital Galveston. He was 60 years old. He was transferred from the Pack Unit in Navasota on May 13th. Uhrich tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. He suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions. Preliminary autopsy results suggest COVID-19 as a possible cause of death. Uhrich had served 1 year and 9 months of a five-year sentence out of Travis County.

79-year-old Harvey Lee Wendt died May 25th at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Jester III Unit in Richmond to the hospital on May 8th. Family declined an autopsy but COVID-19 is presumed to be a contributing cause of death since Wendt had tested positive for the virus. Wendt had served 31 years of a 45-year sentence out of Harris County.

Bernard Ferguson died May 25th at Hospital Galveston. He was hospitalized from the Goree Unit on May 6th. Ferguson had tested positive for COVID-19 and the preliminary results of an autopsy suggest that the virus was a contributing cause of his death. Ferguson had served 43 years of a life sentence out of Bell county.

In total there have been 55,882 offenders and 18,338 employees tested. 5,469 offenders and 879 staff have tested positive. 1410 offenders and 351 staff have recovered. There have been 36 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 30 under investigation. There have been 7 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.

The Strike Team oral swab testing of offenders and employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is moving quickly. As of Friday May 28th, 2020, the teams have collected 51,336 offender tests and 13,983 employee tests.

Collection of tests is complete at the Clements, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza East, Gist, Gurney, Holliday, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester III, LeBlanc, Lopez, Lychner, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Ney, Pack, Robertson, Sanchez, Segovia, Smith, Stiles, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, and Wynne units.




May 29, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Welcome to the new TDCJ COVID-19 Dashboard!

You can now access all of TDCJ’s testing information optimized for either desktop or mobile viewing in one location. This data will continue to be updated often. It now includes information and testing results from the TDCJ Strike Team mass testing of asymptomatic offenders and employees at a number of units impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The agency continues to administer and receive results for COVID-19 tests daily. Given the volume of tests and results received, slight differences in counts may reflect what the database has captured at different points in time, or in some instances, counts may need to be adjusted to reflect corrections to data. Data indicates the current location and status of offenders tested which may change over time.

Data will continue to be updated daily except for Sundays and Holidays.




May 22, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of four offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

45-year-old Beto Unit offender Jeffrey Davis died May 11th. Davis tested positive for COVID-19 on April 14th and he was placed in medical isolation. He suffered from a number of significant pre-existing medical conditions. On May 2nd, he was transported from Palestine to a hospital in Tyler. Preliminary autopsy results indicated COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death. Davis had served 3 years of a 15 sentence from Galveston County.

Jose Martinez died May 15th after a near month long hospitalization. He was 67 years old and was transferred to a local hospital from the Clements Unit in Amarillo on April 18th. Martinez tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. He suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions. Preliminary autopsy results suggest COVID-19 as a possible cause of death. Martinez had served 23 years of a life sentence out of Hockley County.

51 year old Adrian Duncan died May 10th at Hospital Galveston. He was transported from the Scott Unit in Angleton to the hospital on April 26th. Preliminary autopsy results suggest COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death. Duncan had served nearly 10 years of a 35-year sentence out of Harris County.

52-year-old Thomas Weber died May 11th after being transported to HCA Hospital Conroe. He was hospitalized from the Wynne Unit in Huntsville on May 10th, suffering from COVID-19 possible symptoms. He also suffered from a number of preexisting conditions and did test positive for the virus. Weber had served 7 years of a 30-year sentence out of Polk County. The preliminary results of an autopsy suggest a contributing cause of death is COVID-19.

In total there have been 48,008 offenders and 15,128 employees tested. 2,495 offenders and 758 staff have tested positive. 1082 offenders and 181 staff have recovered. There have been 36 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 22 under investigation. There have been 7 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




May 19, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The first batch of COVID-19 mass testing of Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) offenders is in. Of the first tests, 1446 are negative and 189 positive which is a rate of 11 percent. Those results come from 13 units across the state.

In all the Strike Team oral swab testing of offenders and employees of TDCJ is moving very quickly. In the first 7 days of testing the 12 teams have collected 34,033 offender tests and 7,863 employee tests.

Collection of tests is complete at the Ellis, Fort Stockton, LeBlanc, Lopez, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Telford, Terrell, Sanchez, Segovia, Stiles, Woodman, and Wynne units.

Testing continues or is underway at the Clements, Darrington, Eastham, Estelle, Garza East, Gist, Gurney, Hutchins, Holliday, Hughes, Huntsville, Jester III, Lynaugh, Lychner, Ney, and Robertson units.

In total there have been 38,203 offenders and 11,836 employees tested. 2214 offenders and 742 staff have tested positive with 457 offenders and 145 staff recovered. There have been 32 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 27 under investigation. There have been 7 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




May 18, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of an offender likely connected to the coronavirus.

Terry Jackson died May 2, 2020 at Northwest Texas Hospital he was 57 years old. Jackson suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions. He was transported from the Clements Unit to the hospital on April 25th. Preliminary autopsy results suggest COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death. Jackson had served 14 years of a 45-year sentence out of Lamar County.

1998 offenders and 732 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 with 455 offenders and 132 staff recovered.

There have been 32 offender deaths connected to COVID 19 with an additional 27 under investigation. There have been 7 employee line of duty deaths from COVID-19.




May 15, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Strike Team oral swab testing of offenders and employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is moving quickly. As of Thursday May 14th, 2020 the 12 teams have completed 13,191 offender tests and 3,254 employee tests.

Testing is complete at the Pack, Sanchez, Middleton, Murray, Terrell, LeBlanc, and Lopez Units.

Testing continues or is underway at the Wynne, Clements, Ellis, Michael, Telford, Woodman, Robertson, Fort Stockton, Darrington, Stiles, Hughes, and Segovia Units.




May 13, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of an offender likely connected to the coronavirus.

Daniel Thompson died May 5, 2020 at Hospital Galveston he was 71 years old. Thompson suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions. He was transported from the Pack Unit to the hospital on April 30th. Preliminary autopsy results suggest COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death. Thompson had served 24 years of a 50 year sentence out of Harris County.

There have been 7 employee/staff deaths and 31 offender deaths with COVID-19 as a contributing cause. There are an additional 24 offender deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results.

In total there are 677 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1775 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 102 employees and 451 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

21,468 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 42,474 offenders impacted.

Baten, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Coffield, Cole, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Holliday, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jester 3, Jordan, LeBlanc, Lynchner, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Ney, Pack, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




May 12, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Testing is one key to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and with the help of the Texas Department of Emergency Management, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) this week is beginning a new expanded testing program.

The agency continues to be agile in its response to the pandemic.

The state has acquired and is deploying tens of thousands of COVID-19 oral fluid tests manufactured by Curative, Incorporated. The tests were given approval in April by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization and will be administered at TDCJ prison units across Texas. These tests are designed to be self-administered by the person being tested.

“These tests are readily available and deployable,” said Bryan Collier TDCJ Executive Director. “Increasing the information available to our medical professionals will help us to further enhance the agency’s ability of stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The new tests are being utilized by the United States Air Force. Clinical studies suggest Curative’s oral fluid test has equivalent sensitivity to nasopharyngeal swab tests that require a nurse. Curative has also deployed its oral test kit at drive-thru and other centers in Los Angeles, testing more than 57,000 people at a rate now grown to approximately 5,000 per day.

The agency has 12 strike teams who are trained and beginning testing today.

In the first few hours of testing nearly 1500 tests were administered and collected. Like has occurred in virtually every area where large scale asymptomatic testing has taken place TDCJ fully expects the number of positive offender cases to expand dramatically. The agency has a plan in place to medically restrict these new asymptomatic cases as needed.

In total there are 652 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1733 offenders who have tested positive. There have been 30 confirmed offender deaths and 23 pending autopsy results. 7 staff members have died from COVID-19. There are now 91 employees and 371 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

19,214 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 43,700 offenders impacted.

Baten, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Coffield, Cole, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jester III, Jordan, Leblanc, Lychner, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Ney, Pack, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




May 11, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 3 offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

77-year-old James Powers died May 10, 2020 after being in the intensive care unit of Hospital Galveston. Powers was hospitalized from the Ellis Unit in Huntsville on May 5th, suffering from COVID-19 possible symptoms. He also suffered from a number of preexisting conditions and did test positive for the virus. Powers had served 9 years of a 20-year sentence out of Taylor County. Powers family declined an autopsy, but the presumed contributing cause of death is COVID-19.

Alfredo De La Vega died May 5, 2020 at a local hospital he was 54 years old. Delavega suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions. He was transported from the Montford Unit in Lubbock to a local hospital on April 27th suffering from possible COVID-19 symptoms. Delavega had served 20 years of a 20 sentence out of Bexar County. The results of preliminary autopsy suggest COVID-19 as a cause of death.

On April 29, 2020 79-year-old Bennie Skinner died after being in the intensive care unit of Wadley Hospital. Skinner was hospitalized from the Telford Unit in New Boston on April 21st, suffering from COVID-19 possible symptoms. He also suffered from a number of preexisting conditions and did test positive for the virus. Skinner had served 30 years of a Life sentence out of Parker County. Skinner’s family declined an autopsy, but the presumed cause of death is COVID-19 pneumonia.

There are an additional 20 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results.

In total there are 640 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1,711 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 82 employees and 371 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

20,123 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 41,058 offenders impacted.

Baten, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Coffield, Cole, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jester III, Jordan, Leblanc, Lychner, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Ney, Pack, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




May 9, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Maria Mendez, Wynne Unit
CO Maria Mendez
Wynne Unit

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is saddened to announce the death of an employee that may be connected to the COVID-19 virus.

Correctional Officer Maria Mendez of the Wynne Unit was hospitalized after feeling short of breath after work on April 12, 2020 with a cough and slight fever. On April 15th, she was transferred to Methodist Hospital in Houston where she was placed on a ventilator in Intensive Care. Mendez passed away this morning May 9th, 2020. She was 59 years old and had tested positive for COVID-19 in April. Ms. Mendez served the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for nearly 11 years.

“Even in these unprecedented times there are moments that are especially jarring,” said Bryan Collier TDCJ Executive Director. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire agency are with the family and friends of Officer Menendez.”

In total there have been six TDCJ employee deaths that have a preliminary cause of COVID-19. There have also been 27 offender deaths with a preliminary COVID-19 cause and an additional 17 offender deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results.

In total there are 582 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1427 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 82 employees and 371 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

20,277 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 43,086 offenders impacted.

Baten, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Coffield, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jester III, Jordan, Leblanc, Lychner, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Ney, Pack, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




May 8, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 2 offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

62-year-old Marion Sayles died May 6, 2020 after being in the intensive care unit of Hospital Galveston for over two weeks. Sayles was taken to a local hospital from the Telford Unit in New Boston on April 15th, suffering from COVID-19 possible symptoms. He suffered from a number of preexisting conditions and did test positive for the virus. Sayles had served 8 years of a Life sentence out of Dallas County. Sayles’ family declined an autopsy, but the presumed cause of death is COVID-19 pneumonia.

Ramchand Jagaroo died May 3, 2020 at Northwest Texas Hospital he was 66 years old. Jagaroo suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions. He was transported from the Clements Unit to the hospital on April 26th suffering from possible COVID-19 symptoms. Jagaroo had served 16 years of a life sentence out of Harris County. The results of preliminary autopsy suggest COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death.

There are an additional 14 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results.

In total there are 566 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1402 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 80 employees and 371 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

21,779 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 43,185 offenders impacted.

Baten, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Coffield, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jester III, Jordan, Leblanc, Lychner, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Ney, Pack, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test




May 7, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 2 offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

62-year-old Miguel Arciba died May 3, 2020 after being in the intensive care unit of Hospital Galveston for over a week. Arciba was taken to a local hospital from the Telford Unit in New Boston on April 13th, suffering from shortness of breath and COVID-19 possible symptoms. He suffered from a number of preexisting conditions and did test positive for the virus. Arciba had served 13 years of a Life sentence out of Ellis County. The results of preliminary autopsy suggest COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death.

Gerald Barragan died May 5, 2020 at Hospital Galveston he was 62 years old. Barragan suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions. He was transported from the Terrell Unit to Hospital Galveston on April 26th suffering from possible COVID-19 symptoms. Barragan has served 11 months of a 5 year sentence out of Kendall County. Barragan’s family declined an autopsy but the presumed cause of death is COVID-19 pneumonia.

There are an additional 16 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results.

In total there are 535 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1379 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 80 employees and 371 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

21,595 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 44,441 offenders impacted.

Baten, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Coffield, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jester III, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Lychner, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Ney, Pack, Polunsky, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




May 6, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

In total there are 504 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1336 offenders who have tested positive. 5 employees and 23 offenders are believed to have died as a result of COVID-19. There are now 72 employees and 371 offenders who have medically recovered.

There are an additional 16 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results. 3 other deaths that had been under investigation have been determined to be non-COVID-19 related after the return of preliminary autopsy reports.

21,242 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 45,735 offenders impacted

Baten, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Coffield, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jester III, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Lychner, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Ney, Pack, Polunsky, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




May 5, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of an offender likely connected to the coronavirus.

65-year-old Danilo Garza died May 4, 2020 at Hospital Galveston. Garza had served 31 years of a life sentence out of Cameron County. He was tested for COVID-19 on April 20th and those results came back positive. Garza was transported from the Eastham Unit on April 28nd to Hospital Galveston after his condition worsened. Garza’s family declined an autopsy but COVID-19 is a likely cause of death.

In total there are 482 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1299 offenders who have tested positive. 5 employees and 23 offenders are believed to have died as a result of COVID-19. There are now 66 employees and 371 offenders who have medically recovered.

There are an additional 14 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results. Three other deaths that had been under investigation have been determined to be non-COVID-19 related after the return of preliminary autopsy reports.

20,510 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 48,674 offenders impacted

Baten, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Coffield, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jester III, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Lychner, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Polunsky, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Skyview, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




May 4, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 2 offenders likely connected to the coronavirus.

Nicholas Paredez died April 25, 2020 at Hospital Galveston he was 82 years old. Paredez suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions. He was transported from the Estelle Unit to a local hospital on April 22nd and moved to Hospital Galveston the next day. Preliminary autopsy results suggest COVID-19 pneumonia as the likely cause of death. Paredez has served 16 years of a 25 sentence.

62-year-old Tommy Rodriguez was admitted to Hospital Galveston on April 13, 2020 suffering from COVID-19 like symptoms. After spending several days in the Intensive Care Unit Rodriguez died on May 2nd. His family declined an autopsy but he had tested positive for COVID-19 and that is presumed to be a cause of his death. He had served 14 years of a life sentence out of Harris County.

There are an additional 12 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results.

In total there are 461 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1275 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 63 employees and 371 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

20,063 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 46,382 offenders impacted.

Baten, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jordan, LeBlanc, Lopez, Lynchner, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Polunsky, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Skyview, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




May 2, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death of an offender likely connected to the coronavirus.

70-year-old Ralph Neely died April 29, 2020. Neely was taken to a local hospital from the Robertson Unit in Abilene on April 17th, suffering from shortness of breath and COVID-19 possible symptoms. He tested positive for the virus. Neely had served 26 years of a life sentence out of Jefferson County. The preliminary results of an autopsy indicate COVID-19 as a preliminary cause of death.

There are an additional 9 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results.

In total there are 439 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1,229 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 96 employees and 212 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

19,985 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 42,349 offenders impacted.

Baten, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jordan, LeBlanc, Lopez, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Polunsky, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Skyview, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




May 1, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 3 offenders that are likely connected to the coronavirus.

64-year-old Michael Milligan died April 26, 2020 at Hospital Galveston after spending two days in critical condition there. Milligan was taken to the hospital from the Terrell Unit in Rosharon on April 19th, suffering from shortness of breath and COVID-19 possible symptoms and he tested positive for the virus. Milligan had served 7 years of a 30-year sentence out of Tarrant County. His family refused an autopsy, but medical evidence suggests COVID-19 as a preliminary cause of death.

Paul Brown was taken to Hospital Galveston from the Wynne Unit in Huntsville on April 18, 2020 suffering from possible symptoms of COVID-19. He was tested at the hospital and that test returned positive. Brown died on April 26th, 2020. His family refused an autopsy but there is evidence to suggest COVID-19 as a cause of death. Brown was 55 years old and had served 7 years of a 50-year sentence out of Orange County.

76-year-old Frederick Ebenal was pronounced dead on April 23, 2020 at a local hospital. He had been housed at the Telford Unit in New Boston. Ebenal began showing possible COVID-19 symptoms on April 18th when he was tested for the virus, that initial test returned negative. He was tested again on April 23rd and that test came back positive. He had served 28 years of a 48-year sentence out of Tom Green County. His family refused an autopsy, but it is believed that COVID-19 contributed to his death.

There are an additional 8 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results.

In total there are 413 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1,151 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 56 employees and 212 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19. 19,905 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 43,431 offenders impacted.

Baten, Beto, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jordan, LeBlanc, Lopez, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Polunsky, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Skyview, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




April 30, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 4 offenders that are likely connected to the coronavirus.

55-year-old Darrin Houston died April 18th at Hospital Galveston after spending two days in critical condition. The Estelle Unit offender was taken to the hospital on April 14th, suffering from shortness of breath and COVID-19 like symptoms. Houston later tested positive for the virus. He had served ten years of a life sentence out of Dallas County. The preliminary autopsy results suggest COVID-19 as a cause of death.

Luis Garza was taken to Hospital Galveston from the Wynne Unit on April 15th suffering from a bone infection. He was tested at the hospital for COVID-19 and that test returned positive. On April 16th, Garza was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit where he later died on April 19th. The preliminary results of an autopsy suggest COVID-19 as a cause of death. Garza was 53 years old and had served 12 years of a 25-year sentence out of Dallas County.

57-year-old David Randle was taken from the Estelle Unit on April 17th to a local hospital where he was administered a COVID-19 test that was negative. He was transferred to Hospital Galveston April 18th, suffering shortness of breath and was administered a second COVID-19 test, which returned April 21st positive. Randle died April 26th. He had served 15 years of a 60 year sentence out of Brown County. Preliminary autopsy results suggest a cause of death of COVID-19.

68-year-old James Matthews was pronounced dead at the Beto Unit after being found unresponsive in his cell on April 13th. Matthews began showing possible COVID-19 symptoms on April 9th when he was tested for the virus. He had served 17 years of a 40 year sentence out of Hopkins County. The preliminary autopsy suggests COVID-19 is believed to have contributed to his death.

There are an additional 11 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results.

In total, there are 394 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1118 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 54 employees and 207 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

20,218 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 42,758 offenders impacted.

Baten, Beto, Byrd, Carole Young, Clemens, Clements, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Goree, Gurney, Hospital Galveston, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jester 3, Jester 4, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Skyview, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




April 29, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

In total there are 381 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1050 offenders who have tested positive. 5 employees and 12 offenders are believed to have died as a result of COVID-19. There are now 46 employees and 156 offenders who have medically recovered.

There are an additional 14 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results. 2 other deaths that had been under investigation have been determined to be non-COVID-19 related after the return of preliminary autopsy reports. 19,598 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 41,301 offenders impacted

Baten, Beto, Byrd, Clemens, Clements, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Polunsky, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Skyview, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




April 29, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that may be connected to the COVID-19 virus.

53-year-old James Coleman’s death is currently under investigation. Coleman last worked April 26, 2020 at the Middleton Unit in Abilene. On April 27th, he felt ill at home, collapsed and was taken to a local hospital where he was tested for COVID-19. That test did return positive and Officer Coleman passed away yesterday afternoon. He was a 20 year veteran of TDCJ.

“There is no measure of the unexpected loss of someone we hold dear,” said Bryan Collier Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. “The thoughts and prayers of the TDCJ family are with those close to Officer Coleman. We can only hope that is of some comfort to his friends and family.”

James Coleman




April 28, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 2 offenders that are likely connected to the coronavirus.

77-year-old Nathaniel Morgan was pronounced dead at Hospital Galveston where he had been being treated for COVID-19. He had been assigned to the Wynne Unit but was taken to Hospital Galveston suffering from shortness of breath on April 22nd, where he tested positive for COVID-19. He suffered from a number of pre-existing health conditions. Morgan was serving a life sentence out of Tarrant County and died on April 24th, 2020. His family declined to have an autopsy performed, however COVID-19 is believed to have contributed to his death.

Vaughn Harvey also died at Hospital Galveston on April 26th, he was 70 years old. Harvey was serving a life sentence out of Smith County at the Wynne Unit. He went to a local hospital April 22nd, was tested for COVID-19 the same day and then transferred to Hospital Galveston on April 23rd. Harvey died on April 26th. His family also declined an autopsy, but COVID-19 is believed to have contributed to his death.

There are an additional 12 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results. 2 other deaths that had been under investigation have been determined to be non-COVID-19 related after the return of preliminary autopsy reports.

In total there are 350 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 950 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 46 employees and 156 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

17,953 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 37,684 offenders impacted.

Baten, Beto, Byrd, Carole Young, Clemens, Clements, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Skyview, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




April 27, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

In total there are 325 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 909 offenders who have tested positive. 4 employees and 10 offenders are believed to have died as a result of COVID-19. There are now 34 employees and 97 offenders who have medically recovered. There are an additional 12 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results. 2 other deaths that had been under investigation have been determined to be non-COVID-19 related after the return of preliminary autopsy reports.

17,648 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 39,313 offenders impacted

Baten, Beto, Byrd, Carole Young, Clemens, Clements, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Skyview, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




April 27, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is saddened to announce the death of an employee that may be connected to the COVID-19 virus.

65-year-old Coy D. Coffman Jr’s death is currently under investigation. Coffman was a nine-year veteran Correctional Officer who last worked April 5, 2020 at the Telford Unit in New Boston. On April 14, 2020 he began suffering symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and was tested the next day. On April 17th, he was admitted to a local hospital in Texarkana due to possible complications from COVID-19. Coffman’s test returned positive on April 19th. Several days later his condition began deteriorating and sadly Coffman passed away yesterday evening.

“The COVID-19 virus has changed our state and our agency forever, but no one can imagine the impact to the Coffman family who has lost someone so close,” said Bryan Collier Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. “The thoughts and prayers of the TDCJ family are with those close to Officer Coffman. He died in the service of all Texans.”




April 25, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 2 offenders that are likely connected to the coronavirus.

63-year-old Timothy Bazrowx was pronounced dead at Hospital Galveston where he had been being treated for COVID-19. He had been assigned to the Wynne Unit but was taken to Hospital Galveston suffering from shortness of breath on April 17th where he tested positive for COVID-19. He suffered from a number of pre-existing health conditions. Bazrowx was serving a 20 year sentence for Aggravated Sexual Assault out of Ellis County and died on April 23, 2020. His family declined to have an autopsy performed, however COVID-19 is believed to have contributed to his death.

Harold Dean Wilson also died at Hospital Galveston on April 23rd, he was 65 years old. Wilson was serving a 20 year sentence for Possession of Child Pornography out of Randall County at the Terrell Unit. He was transferred to Hospital Galveston on April 18th and tested positive for COVID-19 the next day. Wilson’s family also declined an autopsy but COVID-19 is believed to contributed to his death.

There are an additional 8 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results. 2 other deaths that had been under investigation have been determined to be non-COVID-19 related after the return of preliminary autopsy reports.

In total there are 294 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 806 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 20 employees and 47 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

18,072 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN 42,675 offenders impacted




April 24, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the death an offender that is likely connected to the coronavirus.

79-year-old Thomas Rodriguez was pronounced dead at Hospital Galveston where he had been being treated for COVID-19. He had been assigned to the Wynne Unit but was taken to Huntsville Memorial Hospital suffering from shortness of breath on April 19th later that day he was transported to Hospital Galveston where he tested positive for COVID-19. He suffered from a number of pre-existing health conditions. Rodriguez was serving a life sentence for aggravated kidnapping out of Harris County and died on April 23, 2020. His family declined to have an autopsy performed, however COVID-19 is believed to have contributed to his death.

There are an additional 7 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results. 2 other deaths that had been under investigation have been determined to be non-COVID-19 related after the return of preliminary autopsy reports.

In total there are 274 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 752 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 18 employees and 47 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

17,583 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 43,404 offenders impacted

Baten, Bell, Beto, Byrd, Carole Young, Clemens, Clements, Crain, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jester 3, Jester 4, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Skyview, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




April 23, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 2 offenders that are likely connected to the coronavirus.

79-year-old Robert Hohn was pronounced dead at Hospital Galveston where he had been being treated for COVID-19. He had been assigned to the Telford Unit but was transferred to a local hospital on April 14th where he tested positive for COVID-19. He suffered from a number of pre-existing health conditions. Hohn was serving a 50-year sentence for aggravated sexual assault of a child out of Liberty County and died on April 22, 2020. His family declined to have an autopsy performed, however COVID-19 is believed to have contributed to his death.

65-year-old James Lorke was taken from the Wynne Unit and life flighted to Hospital Galveston on April 16th suffering from symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Lorke tested positive for COVID-19. Lorke had served 28 years of a 99 year sentence for murder after being convicted in 1990 in Bexar County. He died on April 21th and his family declined to have an autopsy performed, however COVID-19 is believed to have contributed to his death.

There are an additional 6 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results. 2 other deaths that had been under investigation have been determined to be non-COVID-19 related after the return of preliminary autopsy reports.

In total there are 265 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 693 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 15 employees and 47 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

17,295 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 45,210 offenders impacted

Baten, Bell, Beto, Byrd, Carole Young, Clements, Crain, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hodge, Hughes, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Skyview, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




April 23, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is mourning the loss of a long-time agency leader that may be related to the COVID-19 virus.

Chaplain Akbar Shabazz fell ill on April 3, 2020 with symptoms of COVID-19. After a nearly three weeklong fight, Shabazz passed away early this morning at Methodist Hospital in The Woodlands. He was 70 years old and had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. Mr. Shabazz began his more than 40 years of service as a TDCJ volunteer and joined the agency as an employee in September of 1977. His formal title was Regional Area Muslim Chaplain in that role, he coordinated Taleem classes, Jum'mah services and led the coordination of yearly Ramadan observances.

“Chaplain Shabazz was a part of the foundation of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice,” said Bryan Collier TDCJ Executive Director. “His dedication to his faith, his family, and this agency will not ever be forgotten. I considered him a personal friend and this loss to all is heavy. We can only hope that the thoughts and prayers of the TDCJ family help to lighten the burden.”

Mr. Shabazz will be deeply missed for his leadership, his knowledge and his endless willingness to help anywhere he was needed.




April 22, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice regrets to inform you of the deaths of 2 offenders that are likely connected to the coronavirus.

68-year-old James Nealy was found unresponsive in his cell at the Wynne Unit on April 15th, 2020. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Nealy, who was serving a 99-year sentence for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon out of Bell County, had not shown any symptoms for COVID-19 and had not been tested. As a part of the autopsy for in-custody death investigations, Nealy was tested for COVID-19 and was found to be positive. The preliminary autopsy results suggest the provisional cause of death is COVID-19. Nealy is the fourth offender who has a preliminary cause of death of COVID-19.

84-year-old Willie Eanes was taken from the Telford Unit to UT Tyler Medical Center on April 14th suffering from symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Eanes suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions and tested positive for COVID-19 on April 15th. Eanes, who was serving a 45-year sentence for murder out of Tarrant County, died on April 20th and his family declined to have an autopsy performed, however COVID-19 is believed to have contributed to his death..

There are an additional 6 deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results. 2 other deaths that had been under investigation have been determined to be non-COVID-19 related after the return of preliminary autopsy reports.

In total there are 252 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 594 offenders who have tested positive. There are now 12 employees and 47 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

16,049 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 45,271 offenders impacted

Baten, Bell, Beto, Byrd, Carole Young, Clements, Crain, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Hutchins, Jester 4, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.




April 21, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is saddened to learn of the death of an employee that may be related to the COVID-19 virus.

52-year-old Jonathon Keith Goodman died this afternoon at Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital in Amarillo after being removed from life support. Goodman was an 11-year veteran Correctional Officer who worked at the Bill Clements Unit in Amarillo. Last Friday, April 17th he was found in his home after suffering from an apparent stroke. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Saturday a COVID-19 test returned positive. It is believed the virus contributed to his death.

“All of the thoughts and prayers of the entire Texas Department of Criminal Justice go out to the Goodman family,“ Said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “The unexpected loss of one who is loved so deeply is a tragic time and the TDCJ family sends its strength and extends its profound sympathy to the Goodman family to get through this difficult time.”

Goodman was last at work on April 15, 2020. His wife Kimberly Pride-Goodman is also employed by TDCJ. There are eight additional positive employee COVID-19 cases associated with the Clements Unit at this time. There are also 4 offender positive cases.

Jonathan Keith Goodman




April 21, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Today there are 230 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 557 offenders who have tested positive.

There are an additional 15,032 offenders on medical restriction who may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 44,955 offenders impacted

Baten, Bell, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Carole Young, Clements, Crain, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jester 4, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Ramsey, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has changed how we are reporting numbers on our website. The numbers reflect the current locations of pending, negative and positive cases among offenders. There are also added categories for recovered offenders, deaths and released.




April 20, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Today there are 215 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 468 offenders who have tested positive.

There are an additional 15,218 offenders on medical restriction who may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 42,551 offenders impacted

Baten, Bell, Beto, Boyd, Byrd, Carole Young, Clements, Crain, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Huntsville, Hutchins, Jester 4, Leblanc, Lopez, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has changed how we are reporting numbers on our website. The numbers reflect the current locations of pending, negative and positive cases among offenders. There are also added categories for recovered offenders, deaths and released.




April 18, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Today 15 offenders in custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice have been added to the recovered from COVID-19 category. That is a significant increase putting the total recovered offenders at 18.

There was also noticeable drop in the number of new positive cases in offenders today with 18. There are now a total of 376 offenders who have tested positive for COVID-19. There are also 183 employees who have tested positive.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has changed how we are reporting numbers on our website. The numbers reflect the current locations of pending, negative and positive cases among offenders. We have also added categories for recovered offenders, deaths and released.




April 17, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is changing how we are reporting numbers on our website. As of today, the numbers reflect the current locations of pending, negative and positive cases among offenders. We have also added categories for recovered offenders, deaths and released.

Today there are 175 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 358 offenders who have tested positive.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 34,994 offenders impacted

Baten, Bell, Beto, Byrd, Carole Young, Clements, Crain, Darrington, ETTF, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Goree, Gurney, Hughes, Hutchins, Jester 4, Leblanc, Lopez, Murray, Pack, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.

There are an additional 12,914 offenders on medical restriction who may have had contact with either and employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

Offenders that are under medical restriction are asymptomatic but will continue to receive twice daily temperature testing and anyone interacting with those offenders will wear N-95 mask and glove PPE.

All correctional staff at all facilities continue to wear cotton masks at all times and are encouraged to wear those masks when in public off duty.




April 16, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) continues to monitor and take necessary precautions to prevent and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Today there are 158 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 327 Offenders who have tested positive.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 29,604 offenders impacted

Baten, Bell, Beto, Byrd, Carole Young, Clements, Crain, Darrington, ETTF, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Goree, Hutchins, Leblanc, Lopez, Murray, Pack, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.

There are an additional 11,812 offenders on medical restriction who may have had contact with either and employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

Offenders that are under medical restriction are asymptomatic but will continue to receive twice daily temperature testing and anyone interacting with those offenders will wear N-95 mask and glove PPE.

All correctional staff at all facilities continue to wear cotton masks at all times and are encouraged to wear those masks when in public off duty.




April 15, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is saddened to learn of the death of an offender that may be related to the COVID-19 virus.

On April 9, 2020, 60-year-old offender Johnny Davis was transported from the Telford Unit in New Boston to a local hospital for treatment. A test for COVID-19 revealed he was positive for the virus. On April 11th, Davis was transferred from Texarkana to Hospital Galveston. On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, Davis, who had pre-existing medical conditions, was pronounced deceased by hospital staff. Davis’ family declined to have an autopsy performed, however COVID-19 is believed to have caused his death. Davis was serving a 10 year sentence for obstruction/retaliation out of Hunt County. He began his sentence in October 2016.

48 offenders and 13 employees at the Telford Unit have tested positive for COVID-19 at this time.

In all there have been 138 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors and 284 offenders in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19.




April 14, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is saddened to learn of the death of an offender that may be related to the COVID-19 virus.

An offender death from the Pack Unit in Navasota is under investigation to determine if it is connected to COVID-19. Early Saturday morning April 11, 2020, 62-year-old Leonard Clerkly had difficulty breathing and was transported by EMS to Grimes County Hospital where life saving measures continued. Clerkly was pronounced dead at 5:25 a.m. Preliminary autopsy results suggest a preliminary cause of death of viral pneumonia due to COVID-19 with other contributing factors. Like all in-custody deaths, this death is under investigation, and the cause of death is pending final autopsy results. Clerkly had served 5 years, 7 months and 11 days of a life sentence for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child under 14 out of Tarrant County.

No other offenders or staff at the Pack Unit have tested positive for COVID-19 at this time.

In all there have been 97 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors and 236 offenders in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19.

A complete list of data is available at www.tdcj.texas.gov/covid-19/mac_dashboard.html.




April 13, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) continues to monitor and take necessary precautions to prevent and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Today there are 85 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 193 Offenders who have tested positive.

Two additional facilities were placed on precautionary lockdown today the Lopez and Sanchez Units.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 26,572 offenders impacted

Bell, Beto, Byrd, Clements, Darrington, ETTF, Estelle, Goree, Hutchins, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Murray, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.

There are an additional 11,283 offenders on medical restriction who may have had contact with either and employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

Offenders that are under medical restriction are asymptomatic but will continue to receive twice daily temperature testing and anyone interacting with those offenders will wear N-95 mask and glove PPE.

All correctional staff at all facilities continue to wear cotton masks at all times and are encouraged to wear those masks when in public off duty.




April 11, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) continues to monitor and take necessary precautions to prevent and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

There have been 72 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors and 167 offenders in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Two additional facilities were placed on precautionary lockdown today the Scott and Terrell Units. An additional work location employee positive test was added at the Leblanc Unit.

PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWN FACILITIES: 26,073 offenders impacted

Bell, Beto, Byrd, Clements, Darrington, ETTF, Estelle, Goree, Hutchins, Jordan, Leblanc, Murray, Robertson, Scott, Smith, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.

There are an additional 10,651 offenders on medical restriction who may have had contact with either and employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

Offenders that are under medical restriction are asymptomatic but will continue to receive twice daily temperature testing and anyone interacting with those offenders will wear N-95 mask and glove PPE.

All correctional staff at all facilities continue to wear cotton masks at all times and are encouraged to wear those masks when in public off duty.




April 10, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

There are 18 facilities on precautionary lockdown due to a positive offender or employee COVID-19 test impacting 20,970 offenders.

FACILITIES: Bell, Beto, Byrd, Clements, Darrington, ETTF, Estelle, Goree, Hutchins, Jordan, Leblanc, Murray, Robertson, Smith, Stringfellow, Telford, Woodman, Wynne

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.

There are an additional 8,014 offenders on medical restriction who may have had contact with either and employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.

Offenders that are under medical restriction are asymptomatic but will continue to receive twice daily temperature testing and anyone interacting with those offenders will wear N-95 mask and glove PPE.

All correctional staff at all facilities continue to wear cotton masks at all times and are encouraged to wear those masks when in public off duty.

There have been 69 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors and 132 offenders in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19.

A complete list of data is available at www.tdcj.texas.gov/covid-19/mac_dashboard.html.




April 9, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Beginning tomorrow TDCJ’s Health Services Division’s Patient Liaison Program and our Correctional Managed Healthcare partners at the University of Texas Medical Branch and Texas Tech University Health Science Center will be staffing 3 hotlines to address inquiries related to COVID-19.

2 of these numbers are for offender family members only to get clinical updates of offenders under the universities care. Any release of information is contingent on the offender signing a release of information (ROI) for a designated family member. These numbers will operate from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. That allows nursing staff to have the most updated patient information.

UTMB Hotline: (409) 747-2727
TTUHSC Hotline: (806) 414-9889

The TDCJ Patient Liaison Program will also operate a COVID-19 hotline for third parties such as State leadership offices, advocacy groups, and others including attorneys and government agencies. This line will operate from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday.

TDCJ Patient Liaison Hotline: (936) 437-3534

There are 15 facilities on precautionary lockdown due to a positive offender or employee COVID-19 test.

FACILITIES: Beto, Clements, Darrington, East Texas Treatment Facility, Estelle, Goree, Jordan, Murray, Ramsey, Robertson, Smith, Stringfellow, Telford, Woodman, Wynne.

Only staff that are assigned to those facilities will be allowed on the facilities. The medical lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of the positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.

Offenders that are under medical restriction will continue to receive twice daily temperature testing and anyone interacting with those offenders will wear N-95 mask and glove PPE.

All correctional staff at all facilities continue to wear cotton masks at all times and are encouraged to wear those masks when in public off duty.

Today there have been reported 11 new employee/contractor tests and 23 positive offender tests.

In all there have been 62 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors and 70 offenders in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19.




April 8, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

Effective immediately any facility that has a positive offender or employee/staff COVID-19 test will be placed on lockdown. That includes 15 facilities today.

Only staff that are assigned to those facilities will be allowed on the facilities. The medical lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of the positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.

Offenders that are under medical restriction will continue to receive twice daily temperature testing and anyone interacting with those offenders will wear N-95 mask and glove PPE.

All correctional staff at all facilities continue to wear cotton masks at all times and are encouraged to wear those masks when in public off duty.

Facilities: Beto, Clements, Darrington, East Texas Treatment Facility, Ellis, Estelle, Goree, Henley, Holliday, Jordan, Murray, Ramsey, Robertson, Smith, Stringfellow, Telford, Woodman, Wynne

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is saddened to learn of the death of an offender that may be related to the COVID-19 virus.

An offender death from the Telford Unit in New Boston is under investigation to determine if it is connected to COVID-19. 72-year-old Bartolo Infante was in medical isolation at a community hospital in Texarkana. Infante suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions and was hospitalized for viral pneumonia when he tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3rd. He passed away yesterday. Like all in-custody deaths it is being investigated and the formal cause of death is pending an autopsy.

At this time, there are four employees at the Telford Unit who have tested positive and are in self-quarantine, and seven confirmed offender cases who are in medical isolation. The facility has been placed on full medical restriction.

Today there have been reported 15 new employee/contractor tests and 19 positive offender tests.

In all there have been 56 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors and 47 offenders in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19.




April 8, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is saddened to learn of the death of an offender that may be related to the COVID-19 virus.

An offender death from the Telford Unit in New Boston is under investigation to determine if it is connected to COVID-19. 72-year-old Bartolo Infante was in medical isolation at a community hospital in Texarkana. Infante suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions and was hospitalized for viral pneumonia when he tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3rd. He passed away yesterday. Like all in-custody deaths it is being investigated and the formal cause of death is pending an autopsy.

At this time, there are four employees at the Telford Unit who have tested positive and are in self-quarantine, and seven confirmed offender cases who are in medical isolation. The facility has been placed on full medical restriction.

In all there have been 36 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors and 28 offenders in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19.

A complete list of data is available at www.tdcj.texas.gov/covid-19/mac_dashboard.html.

Offenders in medical restriction are locked down and are being issued cotton masks. TDCJ staff and employees at facilities are provided with and required to wear cotton masks as are parole officers in the field. Where appropriate, staff are issued Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As TDCJ learns of new positive tests, contact investigations are being conducted to determine which individuals may have been exposed to the virus.




April 7, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is saddened to learn of the death of an employee that may be related to the COVID-19 virus.

49-year-old Kelvin Wilcher’s death is currently under investigation. Wilcher was a Correctional Officer who last worked March 31st at the Estelle Unit in Huntsville. On April 1st he went to a Houston hospital and suffered a cardiac event, later in intensive care he was tested for COVID-19 and on April 4th that test returned positive. Wilcher died April 6, 2020. It is under investigation if the virus contributed to his death.

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire Texas Department of Criminal Justice are with the Wilcher family,” Said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “To lose a loved one unexpectedly is a tragic experience for anyone and the TDCJ family extends its sympathy and sends strength to get through this difficult time.”

There are no other positive cases associated with the Estelle Unit at this time. There are 358 offenders currently on medical restriction at that facility.




April 6, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is constantly receiving updated information regarding testing and results of offenders, agency and contract employees as well as medical partners. Today there have been four new cases confirmed including three employee/contractors and one offender.

In all there have been 28 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors and 19 offenders in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19.

For a complete list of data please visit www.tdcj.texas.gov/covid-19/mac_dashboard.html.

Offenders in medical restriction and medical isolation are locked down and have been issued cotton masks. TDCJ staff and employees on prison units are all provided with and required to wear cotton masks as are parole officers in the field. As TDCJ learns of new positive tests, contact investigations are being conducted to determine which individuals may have been exposed to the virus.

The agency is taking appropriate action to mitigate the potential exposure to others including following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for management of COVID-19 in correctional facilities.




April 5, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice continues to analyze the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the guidance provided by health professionals including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Starting today, the agency is distributing cotton masks manufactured by TDCJ to all staff. Those masks will be required for all personnel working at prison units and optional for those in administrative settings and parole officers in the field.

According to the CDC and the surgeon general of the US, these masks are not intended to be a replacement for six foot social distancing but a supplement to those guidelines. Cotton masks do not protect the wearer from the virus but they can help stop the spread of the virus by the wearer.

An initial distribution of 50,000 masks that have been produced in TDCJ garment factories are in use now. Ten prison unit factories are working seven days a week now producing up to 20,000 additional masks a day.

The new guidelines will continue for at least the next several weeks or until no longer recommended by health professionals. Temperature screening of all persons entering prison units and many offices will continue with anyone with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher being sent home to self quarantine.

TDCJ also continues to receive results of COVID-19 testing in employees, contractors and the offender population. The agency is now routing all testing through our Correctional Managed Healthcare Partner, The University of Texas Medical Branch. That is resulting in much faster turn around times of tests as well as a higher degree of accuracy. As of today, there are new positive tests in 14 offenders and 5 staff or employees.

25 total staff/employee/contractor tests.

18 total positive offender tests by unit:

  • Beto - 6
  • Goree - 2
  • Jordan - 1
  • Lychner State Jail - 1
  • Murray - 4
  • Stringfellow - 2
  • Woodman State Jail - 2

As a result of these cases and other possible contact investigations, there are approximately 3,700 asymptomatic offenders in medical restriction and 51 offenders in medical isolation with positive or pending COVID-19 tests.

Offenders in medical restriction are also being issued the cotton masks to protect others from possible virus infection. Also as of today medical restriction offenders are fully locked down instead of being restricted to their housing unit.

For the most current information please visit www.tdcj.texas.gov or our social media channels.




April 4, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation. Testing of both employees and offenders is ongoing.

As of this evening there are now 20 positive cases in TDCJ employees and contractors. There are an additional 6 cases in the offender population and 1 case in a parole client living at a transitional center facility. New cases are as follows:

  • A 22 year old Correctional Officer at the Woodman State Jail has tested positive for COVID-19. The officer is now in self-quarantine.

  • A Nurse employed by medical partner Texas Tech has tested positive. The 56 year old works at the Smith Unit and is now in self-quarantine.

  • A 54 year old offender at the Goree unit has tested positive for COVID-19. The offender had been in medical restriction due to his exposure to a confirmed case.

  • An offender at the Lane Murray Unit has tested positive. The 37 year old offender is now in medical isolation.

There are currently 41 offenders in Medical Isolation across the system who have positive or pending tests.

TDCJ continues to remind everyone to follow all guidelines for social distancing and hand hygiene at all times on the job and off.




April 3, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is constantly receiving updated information regarding testing and results of offenders, agency and contract employees as well as medical partners. Today there have been five new cases confirmed four employee/contractors and one offender.

  • A Correctional Officer at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The 41-year-old worked at the facility on Thursday March 26, 2020. The officer was tested on April 2, 2020 and is at home in good condition in self-quarantine.

  • A 51 year old maintenance supervisor working at the Robertson Unit who was tested on March 31, 2020 has now tested positive. The employee was last at work Monday, March 30, 2020, and is recovering in self-quarantine at home.

  • A Nurse employed by Texas Tech assigned to the Smith Unit in Lamesa has tested positive for COVID-19. The 56-year-old last worked Sunday, March 29, 2020, was seen by a doctor and tested the same day. The nurse is recovering in self-quarantine at home.

  • A Substance Abuse counselor employed by Management and Training Corporation (MTC) working at the Jester Complex in Richmond has tested positive. This is the third positive test in a counselor at Jester. The 61 year old employee was tested by a physician on Monday, March 30, 2020 and remains in self-quarantine.

  • An offender at the Woodman State Jail in Gatesville has tested positive for COVID-19. The offender was suffering from shortness of breath yesterday (April 2, 2020) and was taken to an outside hospital. The offender placed in medical isolation and was tested at the hospital. The test returned positive.

In all there have been 18 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors and 4 offenders in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The agency is taking appropriate action to mitigate the potential exposure to others including following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for management of COVID-19 in correctional facilities.

As TDCJ learns of new positive tests, contact investigations are being conducted to determine which individuals may have been exposed to the virus.




April 2, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

More than 36,000 Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees, contractors, and staff are still hard at work through this crisis. They embody our mission. Courage, Commitment, Integrity, Perseverance.

The message is simple. Thank you. Today and everyday.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is reminding all our employees, staff, and contractors of the importance of following all recommended social distancing measures especially outside of the workplace. As an essential state function many employees are still reporting to work and are screened before entry. Everyone is urged to continue to maintain strong workplace disinfecting and personal hygiene practices inside the workplace and out.

There are no additional cases to report today. In all there are 13 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors and 3 offenders in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19.




April 1, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is constantly receiving updated information regarding testing and results of offenders, agency and contract employees as well as medical partners. Today there have been four new cases confirmed Three employees and one offender.

  • A Correctional Officer at the Jordan Unit in Pampa has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The 34-year-old worked at the facility on Friday March 27, 2020 and was sent home after entry screening showed a 101.2 temperature. The officer was seen by a doctor and tested on March 28th. The officer is at home in good condition in self-quarantine.

  • A Correctional Officer at the Stringfellow Unit in Rosharon has tested positive for COVID-19. The 52-year-old last worked Thursday March 19, 2020. The officer was admitted to a hospital and tested on March 20, 2020. The officer has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering in self-quarantine at home.

  • A Laundry Supervisor at the Murray Unit in Gatesville has tested positive. The employee was tested by a physician on Monday, March 30, 2020 and remains in self-quarantine.

  • An offender at the Stringfellow Unit has tested positive for COVID-19. The offender was taken to an outside hospital yesterday suffering from respiratory distress. The offender was tested at the hospital and placed in medical isolation. The test returned positive today and the offender remains hospitalized in good condition.

In all there have been 13 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors and three offenders in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The agency is taking appropriate action to mitigate the potential exposure to others including following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for management of COVID-19 in correctional facilities. As TDCJ learns of new positive tests, contact investigations are being conducted to determine which individuals may have been exposed to the virus.




March 31, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is constantly receiving updated information regarding testing and results of offenders, agency and contract employees as well as medical partners. The agency is taking appropriate action to mitigate the potential exposure to others. There are no new positive cases and two total in TDCJ offenders.

  • A Correctional Officer at the Henley State Jail in Dayton has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The 61-year-old worked at the facility on Sunday March 22, 2020. The officer is at home in good condition in self-quarantine.

  • A Parole Unit Supervisor working in the Houston Parole Office has tested positive for COVID-19. The 43-year-old Sugarland resident was last in the office on Friday March 20, 2020. The officer is in self-quarantine and is recovering.

  • A Physician employed by the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) has tested positive. The doctor was last at work on Monday, March 16, 2020 at the Skyview Unit. This person is not believed to have had any contact which would impact TDCJ.

The agency is following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for management of COVID-19 in correctional facilities. As TDCJ learns of new positive tests, contact investigations are being conducted to determine which individuals may have been exposed to the virus.

Medical restriction and medical isolation are two ways that TCDJ is managing the potential of COVID-19 in the prison population. Dr. Lannette Linthicum is the Director of the TDCJ Health Services Division. In this Q & A she explains how the protocol which is based on CDC guidelines works.




March 30, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is constantly receiving updated information regarding testing and results of offenders, agency and contract employees as well as medical partners. The agency is taking appropriate action to mitigate the potential exposure to others.

  • An offender at the Goree Unit in Huntsville has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The 36-year-old went to Huntsville Memorial Hospital on March 12th for an unrelated ailment and returned to Goree on March 20th. On March 27th the offender started feeling ill with COVID-19 type symptoms and was placed in medical isolation. The test happened Saturday March 28 and came back positive today. The offender remains in medical isolation and is in good condition.

  • Two employees of the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole have tested positive for COVID-19. Other employees at the Huntsville Institutional Parole Office of the BPP are in at home self-quarantine. That office is not on a prison unit. In total there are now seven staff/contractors/state employees who are connected to TDCJ that have tested positive.

TDCJ is following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for management of COVID-19 in correctional facilities. As the agency learns of new positive tests, contact investigations are being conducted to determine which individuals may have been exposed to the virus.




March 28, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) continues to receive information regarding test results of offenders, agency and contract employees and medical partners. As these results are received and confirmed, the agency is taking appropriate action to mitigate the potential exposure to others.

  • A UTMB medical technician who works at Hospital Galveston has tested positive for COVID-19 virus. The individual has not been at work since March 21st.

  • A contract employee of Management and Training Corporation (MTC) who works at the Jester 1 Unit in Richmond has tested positive. The individual has not been at work since March 19th.

  • A correctional officer who works at the Segovia Unit in Edinburg has presumptively tested positive. The officer has not been at work since March 20th.

TDCJ is following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for management of COVID-19 in correctional facilities. As the agency learns of new positive tests, contact investigations are being conducted to determine which individuals may have been exposed to the virus.

For the latest updates, follow us on our webpage https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/covid-19/index.html.




March 27, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

There were no additional cases of COVID-19 reported connected to TDCJ yesterday.

The results of contact investigations into the three TDCJ related positive cases in 1 offender, 1 contractor and one staff member have led to 42 employees in self-isolation at home. There are 29 tests that have been performed on offenders resulting in 1 positive test.

All offenders who have a pending test result or a positive test are in medical isolation. Any medical or correctional staff in extended close contact with those offenders are wearing full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Contact investigations are performed on anyone being tested.

As a result of those contact investigations there are offenders who are now in medical restriction. In those cases offender movements are restricted until the 14 day incubation period of the virus is reached. Temperature checks are performed at least twice a day per TDCJ protocol and CDC guidance. Staff in close contact with those offenders are using mask and glove PPE.




March 25, 2020

COVID-19 TDCJ Update

HUNTSVILLE, TX

A Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) unit staff member at the Holliday Unit in Huntsville notified the agency today of a positive test for COVID-19.

The 38-year-old is not a correctional officer, but did have possible contact with others. The agency is now conducting a full contact investigation. The employee left work early on March 19th not feeling well, went to a doctor on March 23rd and was subsequently tested. The results came back today. The employee is in self-quarantine and is in good condition.

Any staff who are found to have been in close contact with the employee will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. The contact investigation extends to offenders as well. Any offender found to have been in close contact with the staff member will be medically restricted.

A contact investigation is also being conducted after a report of a positive case for an offender at the Dallas County Jail. In that case, a 48-year-old offender who was feeling ill was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, and the positive test returned today. Intake from Dallas County has been temporarily suspended until the investigation can be completed, and more information is available regarding the affected area.




March 24, 2020

TDCJ Offender in Hospital Galveston tests positive for COVID-19

HUNTSVILLE, TX

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is treating an offender who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The 37-year-old offender is currently medically isolated and being treated at Hospital Galveston where he has been for 3 days. He came into TDCJ custody on February 27th from Harris County where he had been convicted on two drug possession charges.

In the early morning hours of March 21, 2020, the offender reported he was suffering from shortness of breath and a cough while in custody at the Lychner State Jail. He was immediately evaluated in the medical facility there and transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. After evaluation and treatment, the offender was transferred to Hospital Galveston where he was tested for the COVID-19 virus. Due to the nature of his symptoms and a pre-existing respiratory condition, he was treated following the coronavirus disease 2019 infectious disease protocol. TDCJ is also following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for management of COVID-19 in Correctional facilities.

Under those protocols medical professionals from our partners at UTMB, are taking precautions including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The offender is currently in good condition.

Other offenders and staff who may have had contact with the individual who has tested positive are now being medically restricted per disease protocol which includes limiting their movement.

The initial investigation suggests there are no additional symptomatic offenders at the Lychner State Jail. The contact investigation concerning staff is on-going.

“TDCJ is saddened to learn of this positive case in an offender but the agency is well prepared to handle this challenge,” said Bryan Collier TDCJ’s Executive Director. “Our coronavirus protocol was developed exactly for a situation like this. Our prayers are with the offender and his family as he recovers from this illness.”

The mission of TDCJ is to provide public safety, promote positive change in offender behavior, reintegrate offenders into society, and assist the victims of crime. We will continue to meet that mission.




March 23, 2020

Contract Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has learned of an employee of Management and Training Corporation (MTC) who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The employee is a substance abuse counselor. On March 17, 2020, he passed all unit entry screening and attended a training session with other MTC employees. He also had cell side counseling visits with a limited number of restricted housing offenders at the Jester 1 Unit in Richmond, TX. The employee went home early on the 17th and saw a doctor who issued him a clear to work note.

The employee returned to work on Saturday March 21, 2020, and saw additional offenders in restrictive housing. Offenders were behind a secure door, so there was no physical contact.

The employee did not know he had been tested for COVID-19, but received a call from his doctor Sunday afternoon with results of a positive test and an order to self-quarantine. The TDCJ received the lab results Monday morning.

No one in contact with the counselor are symptomatic at this time. The MTC employees who were in the training session on the 17th are not at work and are in self-quarantine. The offenders who had limited contact with the employee are all restrictive housing offenders who had limited contact through hard cell doors with the counselor.

“TDCJ and our university partners are prepared to treat and manage COVID-19 cases as outlined in the coronavirus disease 2019 infectious disease policy,” said Dr. Lannette Linthicum, TDCJ’s Health Services Director. “Any offenders who had any possible contact with the counselor are being closely monitored by medical staff,” Linthicum continued.

The mission of TDCJ is to provide public safety, promote positive change in offender behavior, reintegrate offenders into society, and assist the victims of crime. We will continue to meet that mission.




March 20, 2020

There are no positive tests for COVID-19 in or connected to any TDCJ facility or individual.

Governor Abbott has approved the temporary suspension of medical co-pay for offenders needing health care services related to COVID-19.

Offender Telephone Services are expanded.

Tornado damage being repaired and power restored.

TDCJ is expanding its testing to continue to keep COVID-19 out of our 104 prison units.

Incoming offenders arriving at our 24 intake facilities are now being screened for fevers. Anyone with a 100.4 temperature or higher will be medically isolated and treated following our contagious disease protocol.

Employees and staff had already been being temperature screened before entry to the units. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 or higher would be denied entrance.

All visitation is still suspended.

The offender family hotline is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. to assist family and friends who may have questions regarding COVID-19.

1-844-476-1289 (in-state calls only)

1-936-437-4927 (out-of-state calls)




March 17, 2020

TDCJ is expanding its testing to continue to keep COVID-19 out of our 104 prison units.

Incoming offenders arriving at our 24 intake facilities are now being screened for fevers. Anyone with a 100.4 temperature or higher will be medically isolated and treated following our contagious disease protocol.

Employees and staff had already been being temperature screened before entry to the units. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 or higher would be denied entrance.

All visitation is still suspended.

The offender family hotline is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. to assist family and friends who may have questions regarding COVID-19.

1-844-476-1289 (in-state calls only)

1-936-437-4927 (out-of-state calls)

There are no reported cases or signs of Coronavirus at any TDCJ facilities. TDCJ is actively working to keep COVID-19 out. All visitation has been suspended. We are making changes to employee screenings at prison units starting now.




March 16, 2020

There are no reported cases or signs of Coronavirus at any TDCJ facilities. TDCJ is actively working to keep COVID-19 out. All visitation has been suspended. We are making changes to employee screenings at prison units starting now.




March 11, 2020:  Monitoring and Procedures for COVID-19

There is no indication of the coronavirus within TDCJ facilities or among its employees.


Procedures Implemented in Response to COVID-19
March 11, 2020

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) remains in continuous communication with the Center for Disease Control, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Texas Department of State Health Services, and its university healthcare providers to monitor developments associated with the spread of COVID-19. To ensure the health and safety of employees and offenders, the agency is implementing the following steps to prevent and mitigate the spread of the virus:

Travel:

  • Staff should limit any unnecessary domestic traveling.
  • Agency travel should be limited unless it is an absolute necessity.
  • Any international travel must be approved by the employee’s division director, and if approved, the employee may be required to delay their return to work.

Illnesses:

  • If an employee feels ill or is running a fever, they are advised to stay home.
  • If an employee begins to feel ill at work, and they are assigned to an area where the Coronavirus has been confirmed, they will be required to complete the TDCJ COVID-19 Screening.
  • Based on the completion of the Screening, if an employee appears to be ill, they will be sent home and will be required to submit a physician’s note stating the employee is clear of any symptoms of COVID-19 upon returning to work.

Visitation:

  • March 13, 2020:  In accordance with Governor Abbott’s declaration, effective today, the TDCJ will be temporarily suspending visitation at all our facilities (statewide) until further notice. While we understand the value and significance of the visitation process at our facilities, we also understand the importance of providing and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all involved. For continued updates, please refer to our agency website.

Sanitation:

  • ALL staff are reminded to take proper housekeeping/cleaning steps both in their personal office space as well as their total work environments.
  • Staff are asked to use good hygiene practices, frequently wash hands thoroughly, and refrain from touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.

The agency will continue monitoring the situation for as long as necessary and will provide additional communication if there are any new developments.

Ongoing Monitoring Initiatives:

In addition to the procedures being implemented above, the agency has a confirmed supply of personal protective equipment, and has made arrangements to receive additional protective equipment as needed.

The TDCJ has policies and protocols in place to prevent the spread of all infectious disease.

https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/divisions/cmhc/infection_control_policy_manual.html

Other protocols, as necessary, will include:

  • Temporary suspension of visitation (check the TDCJ webpage prior to visiting)
  • Suspending offender movements
  • Disinfecting visitation areas
  • Regular cleaning of all areas of the unit using a 10% bleach solution






Helpful Links:

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) - News Updates COVID-19
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) - Texas Case Counts Map
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)- Coronavirus (COVID-19)
CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - World Map
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