Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Annual Review 2005
Mission, Philosophy, and Goals
The mission of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is to provide public safety, promote positive change in offender behavior, reintegrate offenders into society and assist victims of crime.
The Department will be open, ethical, and accountable to our fellow citizens and work cooperatively with other public and private entities. We will foster a quality working environment free of bias and respectful of each individual. Our programs will provide a continuum of services consistent with contemporary standards to confine, supervise, and treat criminal offenders in an innovative, cost effective and efficient manner.
- To provide diversions to traditional incarceration by the use of community supervision and other community-based programs.
- To provide a comprehensive continuity of care system for special needs offenders through statewide collaboration and coordination.
- To provide for confinement, supervision, rehabilitation, and reintegration of adult felons.
- To ensure that there are adequate housing and support facilities for convicted felons during confinement.
- To provide supervision and administer the range of options and sanctions available for felons’ reintegration back into society following release from confinement.
- To establish and carry out policies governing purchase and public work contracting that foster meaningful and substantive inclusion of historically underutilized businesses.
Letter from the Chairman
To the Honorable Governor of Texas and Members of the Texas Legislature Austin, Texas
It is my honor to present the 2005 Annual Review for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
Through the dedication and hard work of its staff, and the support of the State’s Leadership, many positive changes occurred within the TDCJ that ensured continued growth and development since the 2004 Annual Review.
Under the direction of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, following the retirement of Executive Director Gary Johnson, Brad Livingston, the TDCJ Chief Financial Officer, took the reins as Interim Executive Director. He led the Agency through the legislative session, from which TDCJ received increased funding to strengthen probation and parole supervision, and provide employee pay raises. With his selection by the Board as the TDCJ Executive Director in July 2005, the Agency closed the fiscal year on a positive note.
The Agency’s momentum to further enhance its role in public safety was evident as its focus on diversionary and offender reentry programs increased. Stronger attention was placed on the establishment of diversion programs, and a new "Street Ready" initiative was developed to ensure released offenders have documentation in-hand to obtain immediate, meaningful employment. Additional management training programs were also implemented so professional, skilled correctional staff could grow within the ranks. The GO KIDS (Giving Offender’s Kids Incentive and Direction to Succeed) initiative continued to expand to include an extensive Internet database promoting community resources and services to assist the children of offenders.
The support of a strong executive team made the transition in Agency leadership seamless and brought forth the growth of these and many other new initiatives.
The devotion of TDCJ employees to the Agency’s mission of public safety was more than evident in their hard work demonstrated during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In both cases, their assistance to the victims, as well as to federal and local law enforcement officials, and their systematic efforts to evacuate and safely relocate thousands of Texas offenders during Rita, directly helped to mitigate potential risk to the Agency, as well as offenders and the public.
I consider it a true honor to serve the State of Texas, along with the more than 38,000 TDCJ employees. Their loyalty is unwavering as is their dedication to provide safety to those we serve. On behalf of the Board, the Agency and its employees, I wish to thank you for your continued support and recognition of our efforts.
Christina Melton Crain
Letter from the Executive Director
Dear Chairman Crain and Board Members:
It is with a great deal of pride that I present you with the agency’s Fiscal Year 2005 Annual Review.
During 2005, it was my privilege to be selected as the Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). I want to thank you once again for the opportunity to serve the State of Texas in this capacity.
It is truly an honor to lead the more than 38,000 dedicated public servants employed by the TDCJ. These outstanding men and women neither seek nor receive much recognition. They quietly strive to protect the public each and every day. Although their vital contributions to public safety receive little publicity, I know you and other state officials are keenly aware of their hard work and sacrifice. I want to thank you, Governor Rick Perry and the members of the Texas Legislature, for all the support you have provided to the employees of TDCJ.
While our employees make an important contribution simply by performing their duties, it is also worth noting they give to the community in many other ways. Their generous contributions to the State Employee Charitable Campaign and other worthwhile causes provide much needed help to victims of natural disasters and other individuals needing assistance. Their generosity is yet one more reason I am honored to serve as the Executive Director of this agency.
Although recent events involving Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina will be described in the agency’s Fiscal Year 2006 report, allow me, at this time, to recognize our employees’ exemplary performance during the natural disasters. Despite the obstacles, essential incarceration and street supervision functions were maintained. Once again, staff rose to the occasion and met an incredible challenge.
On behalf of more than 38,000 of Texas’ finest men and women, dedicated public servants who are honored to serve this great state, I present the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Fiscal Year 2005 Annual Review.
Texas Board of Criminal Justice
The Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ) is composed of nine non-salaried members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve staggered six-year terms. One member of the Board is designated as chairman to serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
Charged with governing the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the TBCJ employs the agency’s executive director as well as develops and implements policies that guide agency operations. The Office of the Inspector General, Internal Audit and the State Counsel for offenders report directly to the TBCJ. Members also serve in a separate capacity as the Board of Trustees for the Windham School District by hiring a Superintendent and providing similar oversight to that of TDCJ.
The TBCJ meets, at a minimum, once each calendar quarter and more frequently as issues and circumstances dictate.
Serving on the TBCJ during the fiscal year were Christina Melton Crain of Dallas, chairman; Don B. Jones of Midland, vice-chairman; William H. Moody of Kerrville, secretary; Adrian A. Arriaga of McAllen, member; Judge Mary Bacon of Houston, member; Patricia Day of Dallas, member; Pierce Miller of San Angelo, member; Greg S. Coleman of Austin, member; and Oliver J. Bell of Austin, member.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
During Fiscal Year 2005 the employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) continued to maintain the highest standard of professional excellence in corrections. The exemplary performance of agency employees throughout the year enabled the agency to continue fulfilling its vital mission: Providing public safety, promoting positive change in offender behavior, reintegrating offenders into society, and assisting victims of crime.
Whether implementing new initiatives or effectively administering existing policies and procedures, TDCJ employees maintained a sharp operational focus during Fiscal Year 2005, performing their duties with pride and distinction while remaining at the forefront in the field of corrections. A new initiative introduced during the fiscal year involved a training program that emphasizes safety and leadership among correctional staff. The agency created a training program for newly promoted sergeants (the Sergeants Academy) with the goal of improving the quality of the supervision the agency’s correctional officers receive by increasing the success of first-line supervisors.
It should be noted that, during Fiscal Year 2005, all state employees, including the men and women of TDCJ were honored by the recognition given by the Texas Legislature. State employees became recipients of the first back-to-back pay raises in 14 years. The seven percent increase spread over the 2006-2007 biennium is the largest percentage increase in 17 years. Both hazardous duty and longevity pay were also increased.
In addition, the expansion of the Texas Fire Fighter, Law Enforcement and Security Officer Loan Program, previously accessible only to firefighters and law enforcement officers, now makes affordable 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans and five percent down payment grants available to qualifying TDCJ employees in hazardous duty pay positions.
Finally, state legislators adopted resolutions recognizing the contributions of correctional, probation, and parole officers and their important role in the state’s criminal justice system.
Community and Public Work Projects
Offenders participate in community and public work projects for the benefit of the entire community. TDCJ facilities are allowed to enter into agreements with eligible non-profit or governmental entities that provide services to the public and add to the general well-being of the community to provide offender labor.
Some community and public work projects also provide valuable training certification that will help the offenders to become part of the community workforce upon their release. Offenders participate in community work projects both inside the facility and out in the community.
Community Service Goals
Performance of community and public work projects by offenders should demonstrate the offender’s willingness to become a useful, productive citizen. It should also serve as a deterrent to crime for the offender and serve as an example to others that there are consequences to unlawful behavior. In addition, participation should help in the rehabilitation of the offender and provide meaningful work opportunities while building pride and self-esteem that will assist in the successful reintegration of an offender, thereby reducing recidivism.
Projects That Build a Safer and Better Texas
Service projects are planned to match the needs of the community with the skills and services at each facility. During Fiscal Year 2005, TDCJ offenders provided disaster relief, built playgrounds, restored and maintained state-operated cemeteries, produced nearly 482,000 pounds of crops for local food banks, cleaned roadways, and constructed low income housing. TDCJ has one of the most active Habitat for Humanity Prison Partnerships in the nation, with offenders logging over 63,000 hours of work on Habitat projects.
TDCJ is proud to be a good neighbor. During Fiscal Year 2005, offenders contributed nearly 1.1 million community and public work hours to making Texas a better place for its citizens.
TDCJ continues to support a variety of non-profit organizations across Texas and the nation through fund-raising. Employees contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars through the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC), and to approximately 66 charities listed on the Executive Director’s Approved Charity List. TDCJ employees are also extremely generous when employees are struck by illnesses or experience a catastrophic event in their lives.
During Fiscal Year 2005, as in the past, TDCJ employees had the opportunity to give monetary donations to more than 300 non-profit organizations through the SECC. Thousands of employees take advantage of the opportunity to give to the charity of their choice through payroll deduction or participation in a variety of fund-raising events. Approximately $371,000 was raised through the SECC.
In addition to the September-through-October SECC campaign, charitable organizations that are on the Executive Director’s Approved List can hold fund-raising events. These organizations include charities such as the American Heart Association, Correctional Peace Officer’s Foundation, and Special Olympics. A complete list of these charities can be found on the TDCJ web site under Fund-Raising.
FY2005 Estimated Expenditures
|Goal A: Provide Prison Diversions||220,465,166||8.91%|
|Goal B: Special Needs Offenders||15,369,969||0.62%|
|Goal C: Incarcerate Felons||1,962,587,719||79.35%|
|Goal D: Ensure Adequate Facilities||49,168,052||1.99%|
|Goal E: Operate Parole System||160,207,865||6.48%|
|Goal F: Indirect Administration||65,489,771||2.65%|
Total Operating Budget $2,473,288,542
Internal Audit Division
The Internal Audit Division conducts comprehensive audits of TDCJ’s major systems and controls. Internal Audit prepares independent analyses, assessments, and recommendations concerning the adequacy and effectiveness of the agency’s internal policies and procedures, and the quality of performance in carrying out assigned responsibilities.
To accomplish its mission, Internal Audit performs financial and performance audits according to an annual audit plan approved by the Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ). Recommendations for improvements to the agency’s system of internal controls are provided and tracked. The audit plan submitted annually to the TBCJ is developed using risk assessment techniques and may include audits of internal operations, contract providers, and community supervision and corrections departments. In addition to routine auditing, the division may participate in investigations of specific acts.
Office of the Inspector General
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG), reporting directly to the TBCJ, consists of two departments: Investigations, and Administrative Support and Programs. The Inspector General ensures coordination and effective communication between the TBCJ, TDCJ executive management, and the investigative functions of the OIG. The office is dedicated to promoting public safety inside and outside of the prison system and ensuring the integrity of TDCJ.
The Investigations Department is dedicated to conducting prompt and thorough investigations of alleged or suspected employee administrative misconduct and/or criminal violations committed on TDCJ property or authorized interest. Through administrative and criminal investigations, OIG investigators identify criminal violations and serious staff misconduct. OIG investigators are commissioned Texas peace officers assigned to offices throughout the state. The Investigations Department responds to requests for law enforcement services from numerous sources from within and outside of the agency. The Investigations Department also investigates reports of Worker’s Compensation fraud within the agency.
Administrative Support and Programs Department
The Administrative Support and Programs Department is responsible for budget and human resource activities for OIG, records management, and information technology support. This department is also responsible for the coordination and management of the Task Force Operations Group, as well as the Fuginet and Crime Stoppers programs.
"I am honored to serve because I am able to develop programs that assist the Office of Inspector General in providing public safety."
Prakash Sajja, Programmer, Office of the Inspector General
Task Force Operations Group
In addition to the law enforcement investigators assigned to prisons units and regions across the state, the OIG also has investigators assigned to fugitive and gang task forces throughout the state. These investigators, working hand in hand with local, state, and federal investigators, focus on identification, location, and apprehension of violent parole violators, the apprehension of escapees and the surveillance of prison gangs and their counterparts for prosecution of organized criminal activities.
Fuginet, an integral component of the OIG, provides law enforcement agencies throughout the country with direct access to an extensive database of information concerning Texas parolees on active supervision, as well as persons wanted by TDCJ for violations of their parole. More than 650 municipal, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies now have access to Fuginet.
Through its Fuginet program, the OIG receives an Auto Theft Prevention Authority grant from the Texas Department of Transportation. This grant involves interaction with vehicle theft task forces throughout the state with OIG providing a database for law enforcement to access critical leads on felons previously convicted for vehicle theft .
In September 1992, The Texas Crime Stoppers Advisory Council entered into a partnership with the Correctional Institutions Division and Walker County/Huntsville Crime Stoppers, Inc., to develop a pilot program for the first prison-based Crime Stoppers Program. From its inception, the program was successful, providing a mechanism for offenders to forward anonymous leads on unsolved crimes.
In April 2001, the program was placed under the OIG, providing direct access and interaction with law enforcement investigators, both inside and outside of the agency. The program solicits tips by publishing Crime Stoppers articles submitted by law enforcement agencies in the state prison newspaper, The Echo. The monthly publication is distributed to all facilities housing TDCJ offenders.
State Counsel for Offenders
State Counsel for offenders (SCFO), reporting directly to the TBCJ, provides quality legal advisement and representation to indigent offenders incarcerated in TDCJ. This enables the agency to comply with constitutional requirements regarding access to courts and right to counsel. There are five legal sections within SCFO that cover the following areas: criminal defense for offenses allegedly committed while in TDCJ custody, appellate work, immigration, civil commitment, and general legal assistance. In addition to the legal sections, SCFO is supported in their efforts by investigators and legal assistants.
General Legal Section
The General Legal Section assists indigent offenders with pending charges and detainers, extradition and probation revocation matters, family law issues, and other legal issues not covered by other sections. This section handles the bulk of SCFO’s mail, which amounted to 43,814 pieces during Fiscal Year 2005.
The Trial Section provides representation to indigent offenders indicted for felonies allegedly committed while the offenders are incarcerated in TDCJ. Trial attorneys, utilizing professional defense investigators, obtain discovery and meet with offenders to investigate their cases. They also represent the offenders at all court appearances, file all necessary motions and pre-trial writs, and fully litigate all relevant issues on behalf of the offender. In Fiscal Year 2005, SCFO opened 433 new felony trial cases. Attorneys tried 19 cases to juries, obtained plea agreements for 235 offenders, had 139 cases dismissed, and withdrew from 51 cases. In support of these efforts, the investigators conducted 1,082 offender interviews and served 729 subpoenas.
This section assists indigent offenders in removal proceedings and international prisoner exchange issues. All removal proceedings are conducted at the federal building on the Goree Unit in Huntsville. Attorneys conducted 564 offender interviews representing 156 offenders in 285 removal hearings during Fiscal Year 2005. Twelve offenders received relief from removal/deportation.
Civil Commitment Section
The Civil Commitment Section represents indigent sex offenders prosecuted under Chapter 841 of the Health and Safety Code, commonly known as the Civil Commitment statute. In Fiscal Year 2005, 23 commitment cases were received. In preparation for trial, attorneys investigate cases, depose expert witnesses, respond to and file discovery motions, and meet with offenders. Twelve cases were tried to verdict before a jury.
This group assists indigent offenders with appellate and writ issues, parole and mandatory supervision eligibility requirements, and time-calculation questions. In Fiscal Year 2005 the section filed 13 criminal appeals and 29 non-time writs. Legal assistants, meanwhile, helped to obtain 748,375 days of jail time credit for offenders. When time credits are given, the system realizes an advantage in available bed space, cost avoidance in terms of housing, and reduction of exposure to litigation.
Windham School District
Windham School District (WSD) provides a variety of educational programs to eligible offenders within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The programs are designed to meet the unique needs of adult offenders and address the legislatively-mandated goals of reducing recidivism, lowering the cost of confinement, promoting positive behavior during confinement, and increasing offenders’ success in obtaining and maintaining employment. In addition to providing traditional academic and vocational education, WSD also has several life skills, problem-solving, and behavior oriented educational programs designed to meet the needs of the offender population. During the 2004-2005 school year, 75,668 offenders participated in WSD programs.
Literacy programs provide adult basic education for offenders functioning below the sixth grade level and secondary level adult education for those who are working toward a high school equivalency certificate (GED). Special Education, Title I (for youthful offenders), English as a Second Language, and special reading programs are provided as appropriate. During 2004-2005 school year, 40,306 offenders participated in academic programs. Only 19,546 of the participants were functioning at or above the sixth grade level. Of those, 5,388 met the eligibility criteria to take the GED test. A total of 4,522 offenders passed the test and attained a GED during the year.
"I’m honored to work with a great group of people who are committed to their jobs and our mission. I feel like we are making a difference in the lives of offenders. If we can provide them with the knowledge and skills they will need when they go out the door, there’s an opportunity for them not to come back."
Mike Vickers, Windham School District Principal, Terrell Unit
Life Skills Programs
The Cognitive Intervention program is designed to improve behavior during incarceration and after release. During the 2004-2005 school year, WSD provided cognitive intervention classes to 13,440 offenders.
Perspectives and Solutions, a 15-day tolerance program implemented in response to hate crimes legislation, is offered at four intake facilities. During the school year, 3,628 offenders participated in this program.
A reintegration program, Changing Habits and Achieving New Goals to Empower Success (CHANGES), offers a life skills curriculum to prepare offenders for release. Completion of the CHANGES program frequently serves as a prerequisite for release for certain offenders.
A communication-based parenting program is offered at selected facilities to support the development of healthy family relationships. During the 2004-2005 school year, 3,451 offenders participated in this program.
Career and Technology Education Programs
The Career and Technology (CTE) program provides 600-hour vocational training courses in 34 trades and supports apprenticeship and on-the-job training in additional occupations. During the 2004-2005 school year, 11,680 offenders participated in the CTE program; 5,770 of those students completed the training during the year and earned vocational certificates. In addition, 2,642 industry certificates were awarded.
Post-secondary academic and vocational programs are available for offenders with a GED or high school diploma. Post-secondary programs served 9,295 students during the school year. Students work toward the attainment of associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees as well as vocational certificates in 21 fields. In the 2004-2005 school year, 447 associate, 52 bachelor’s, 26 master’s, 1,806 vocational credit and 1,901 vocational non-credit degrees and certificates were awarded.
Offenders are responsible for costs associated with these programs and may pay using their Inmate Trust Fund accounts or attempt to qualify for assistance from the federal youthful offender grant program or scholarships through their college/university. Participating offenders can also reimburse the state after release as a condition of parole.
Project Reintegration of Offenders (RIO) works with the Texas Work-force Commission to link educational and vocational training provided in TDCJ to job placement after release. During the 2004-2005 school year, 32,861 offenders were released with a RIO Individual Service Strategy, while 69,720 offenders were served in Project RIO.
The Recreation Program provides offenders on each facility the opportunity for daily exercise and activities. Regional recreation supervisors monitor and support unit operations.
Community Justice Assistance Division
The Community Justice Assistance Division (CJAD) ensures that Community Supervision and Corrections Departments (CSCDs) provide offender services in accordance with community justice plans. It also administers the distribution of state funding and conducts oversight of adult community supervision programs. The division does not work directly with offenders but supports and assists local CSCDs that do. There are 121 CSCDs providing community supervision of adult offenders in 254 counties organized within local judicial districts. Based on a statewide average, 62 percent of a CSCD’s operating budget is state-funded and allocated by CJAD. Other funds, such as court-ordered fees, help to meet their remaining budget needs. County governments provide CSCDs with office space, equipment and utilities.
A CSCD applies for state funds by submitting a community justice plan, approved by the CSCD’s administrative judge(s) and community justice council, outlining current and proposed programs and services. Funds for basic supervision and community corrections are distributed based on legislative formulas. For the purposes of diversion and treatment alternatives to incarceration programs, funding is based on a program’s likelihood of meeting offenders’ needs and in consideration of the CSCD’s other financial resources.
Basic supervision funds provide for the general operational costs of supervising offenders and are based on the number of felons supervised and misdemeanants placed. Community corrections program funds apply to supervision programs and are based on the ratio of felons placed directly on supervision to the county’s population in the CSCD’s jurisdiction. Diversion program grants are awarded to select CSCDs for community corrections facilities, substance abuse and similar programs that are alternatives to incarceration.
As mandated by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, CJAD develops minimum standards and core CSCD services, which are approved by the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. CJAD tracks and evaluates programs and monitors and reviews CSCD budgets. The division provides administrative and technical assistance, and trains and certifies Community Supervision Officers (CSOs).
Role of the CSCDs
CSCDs supervise and rehabilitate adult offenders sentenced to community supervision (probation) by local courts. CSOs assess each offender’s risk level and design a supervision plan which includes court-ordered conditions of probation. Some offenders are confined temporarily in residential facilities while others must report to CSOs at specified intervals.
Supervisory and rehabilitative methods include, but are not limited to the following: Treatment for substance abuse, specialized caseloads, cognitive programs, intensive supervision levels, job and life-skills training, continuing education, residential centers, electronic monitoring, and urinalysis. Some CSCDs also offer services to crime victims.
This section supports the division director in implementing legislation that impacts community supervision and provides information on community supervision to the Texas Legislature, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, the Judicial Advisory Council, CSCDs, the judiciary, and other stakeholders. It publishes TexaSuperVision, a professional journal for CSOs, which serves as a forum on issues facing community supervision and corrections practitioners.
Comprised of Support Services, Human Resources, and Resource Services, this group provides operational support for the division and resource support for the CSCDs. The human resources representative coordinates personnel matters for division employees ensuring compliance with equal opportunity employment criteria and legal conformity.
Resource Services includes an ombudsman and victim services coordinator. The ombudsman responds to inquiries and concerns of the public regarding community supervision issues. The victim services coordinator monitors service mandates, provides training to encourage departmental development of service programs for victims, and networks with local and statewide victim service advocates to advance services to victims.
Research and Evaluation
This section conducts research and compiles statistics on community supervision. It evaluates programs to determine the cost-effectiveness of funds allocated by CJAD such as the Treatment Alternative to Incarceration Program, and validation of the effectiveness of the Texas Community Supervision Risk Assessment Instrument.
Information Systems Management
These employees provide systems support for CJAD and the CSCDs - including maintenance, development, and enhancements of the Integrated Database and Community Supervision Tracking System. Additionally, this section performs programming support for CJAD and the CSCDs, such as website and application development, systems security and network/server maintenance.
Field Services reviews and approves community justice plans submitted by CSCDs, monitors compliance with standards and special grant conditions, and reviews and awards budgetary requests. It ensures integrity and compliance with laws, guidelines, and standards. The Correctional Program Assessment Inventory is used to evaluate residential program effectiveness.
This section also administers and manages the Treatment Alternative to Incarceration Program (TAIP), assignments to the Substance Abuse Felony Punishment program (SAFP), and the treatment program specialist. The TAIP unit monitors grant funding to CSCDs for substance abuse screening, assessment, and referral for treatment services. The SAFP unit assists CSCDs by admitting high-risk felons into the program and coordinating aftercare treatment placement. The program specialists plan, develop, and implement programs in CSCDs for mentally impaired offenders, sex offenders, female offenders, and special category offenders. All three units provide comprehensive training and technical assistance to CSCDs.
This group reviews and approves program budget requests associated with the community justice plan. It ensures integrity and compliance with laws, guidelines and standards. It also distributes funds and ensures that CSCDs utilize them responsibly by performing desk reviews on annual audit reports issued on CSCDs and their vendors by independent certified public accountants. Information is maintained quarterly on state aid received by each CSCD and on local revenues generated and expenditures associated with specific programs. It processes purchase requests for the division and maintains the division’s budget. It also provides administrative health benefit services for the CSCDs and acts as liaison between CSCDs and the Texas Employees Retirement System on health benefit issues.
Training and Staff Development
This section collaborates with the Texas Probation Training Academy’s resource training officers and delivers certification courses for CSOs. It also provides residential course work, in-service training and technical assistance as necessary. Evidence-based training courses are delivered to CSCD field staff to support programs that reduce offender recidivism rates.
Correctional Institutions Division
The Correctional Institutions Division (CID) is responsible for the confinement of adult felony and state jail felony offenders. As of August 31, 2005, the division operated 51 state prison facilities, three pre-release facilities, three psychiatric facilities, one Mentally Retarded Offender Program (MROP) facility, two medical facilities, 13 transfer facilities, 16 state jail facilities, and five substance abuse facilities (SAFP). There were five expansion cellblock facilities, additional medical facilities, boot camps, and a work camp co-located within several different facilities. There were 134,293 institutional offenders, 14,729 state jail offenders, and 3,195 SAFP offenders, for a total of 152,217 offenders incarcerated as of August 31, 2005.
CID employed 26,926 security staff at the end of this fiscal year. The division is also responsible for the following support functions: Classification and Records, Correctional Training and Staff Development, Offender Transportation, Laundry and Food Services, Unit Supply and managing/monitoring of privately operated facilities. There are seven private prisons, five private state jails, one work program co-located on a private facility, two pre-parole transfer facilities, five intermediate sanction facilities (four privately-operated and one state-operated), seven halfway houses, four county jails and 21 substance abuse facilities. There were approximately 18,800 offenders in privately operated facilities monitored by CID during Fiscal Year 2005.
This division is divided into three areas: Prison and Jail Management, Management Operations, and Support Operations. Each area is under the leadership of a deputy director. Other departments reporting directly to the CID director include the offices of Ombudsman and Plans and Operations.
The Office of Ombudsman is a central point of contact for the public and legislators to express concerns or make inquiries regarding offenders. Assistance is provided by answering questions regarding specific offenders, responding to inquiries and explanations of CID policy, providing appropriate resolutions, and referring the public to the appropriate department within the agency for assistance. In addition, this office participates in annual Public Awareness, Corrections Today (PACT) conferences.
Plans and Operations
The Plans and Operations Department provides support to divisional leadership in the tracking and implementation of legislation, coordinating and staffing of all security-related policies and operational plans, budget, contracts, payment functions for private contract prisons and state jails, and liaison to other state agencies and governmental officials. It also manages the CID web page, disseminates information concerning emergency preparedness, coordinates, trains and audits the agency’s offender property process, and other special projects assigned by management.
Prison and Jail Management
The CID deputy director, Prison and Jail Management, oversees six regional directors who have the responsibility of managing institutional prisons and state jails throughout the state. This position is also responsible for the oversight of a security advisor and the tracking canine coordinator.
Six Regional Directors
Each regional director, in their respective geographical area, is responsible for a hierarchy of wardens, assistant wardens, majors, captains, lieutenants, sergeants, and correctional officers who provide security at each prison unit and state jail.
The Security Advisor Office is a liaison between the CID administration and units to develop guidelines and procedures along with resolving compliance issues that pertain to security. This office monitors compliance with agency’s standards, policies and procedures and provides technical guidance regarding lockdowns and other serious incidents. The Security Advisor Office is responsible for coordinating and completing surveys, inspections and reviews relating to major work requests. It also reviews external research projects.
Tracking Canine Coordinator
The Tracking Canine Coordinator manages training, provides technical advice to kennel staff, and maintains statistics of the program. There are 48 kennels throughout the system with 101 kennel staff attached to them. These kennels are represented in all regions of the CID. Twenty-nine of the kennels house pack tracking canines only. Twelve of the kennels incorporate both pack canines and scent-specific canines. Seven kennels have scent-specific canines only. Tracking canines are a key resource for correctional staff during escapes and assisting local law enforcement agencies. The use of these canines led to 60 (one internal and 59 external) successful responses and the apprehension of 47 individuals during Fiscal Year 2005.
The CID deputy director, Management Operations, provides oversight of Private 2005 annual review texas department of criminal justice Facilities, Laundry and Food services and Unit Supply, Security Systems, Security Operations and the Safe Prisons Program.
Private Facilities is responsible for the oversight and monitoring of the agency’s privately operated facilities. Staff ensures adherence to the terms of the contracts by reporting non-compliance and following up to ensure compliance is achieved. They also calculate per diem deductions for services not received, research/coordinate/negotiate proposed contract modifications, manage state-owned property on private facilities, and approve expenditures for facility-generated funds. Monitoring duties expanded in Fiscal Year 2005 when the agency began contracting with counties to house offenders.
Laundry, Food, and Supply
Laundry, Food, and Supply headquarters manages the food, laundry, necessity and unit supply operations. These unit-based programs are vital to the unit’s mission and to offenders’ well-being.
"I’m proud to work for TDCJ for the simple reason that by wearing gray, we’re the good guys and we keep the bad guys locked up. Not only do we protect the people of Texas, but we also make sure that nothing happens in here." Monica Leos, CO IV, Ellis Unit
The department, through its unit-based programmatic areas, is responsible for assuring that all offenders are provided access to clean and serviceable clothing, footwear and bedding. Offenders are provided access to appropriate personal hygiene items, and units are provided the basic supplies they need to operate. Offenders are provided access to wholesome and nutritious meals to include special medical diets.
This department employs approximately 1,800 laundry managers, inventory coordinators and food service managers. The unit-based staff works in over 300 unit laundries, food service and unit supply programs. Approximately 27,000 offenders work in unit food service and laundry departments. Offenders are provided on-the-job training that can help prepare them for reintegration into society.
The Security Systems Department consists of 26 staff members who manage security operations, the Safe Prisons Program, fiscal management, security reviews, and technology review. Security Systems administration provides support to the CID director, deputy directors, regional directors. They also support units regarding new programs, new information systems, staff development, staff safety and other special topics. Additionally, this office monitors security reviews and serious incident review findings for follow-up disposition.
Security Operations provides support to CID units in areas of security staffing, armory operations and the Safe Prisons Program. The department provides support to units in weapons and weapons repair, Use of Force equipment, chemical agents, and is an emergency responder to critical incidents. Security Operations performs assessments of security systems for units and makes recommendations for enhancements/upgrades as appropriate. Security Operations also produces training videos, documentaries of special events, and provides technical support and installation of surveillance and video equipment.
Safe Prisons Office
Subsequent to the creation of the Safe Prisons Program Management Office, the CID director formed the Safe Prisons Program Council. This body provides guidance to the Safe Prisons Office and executive administrative staff on issues of prison sexual assaults. The primary focus of the program is to prevent and limit the number of sexual assaults. The agency has established a "zero tolerance" for sexual assault.
Sexual Assault Awareness Training and Extortion Awareness Training were provided to more than 650 participants. Training focused on the Prison Rape Elimination Act as well as the prevention of extortion. Victims Representative Training was also administered to over 150 participants. This training enhanced skills in areas of support services for offenders who have been a victim of sexual assault.
The Safe Prisons Program manages a database of alleged sexual assaults and monitors these reports for compliance with agency policies. This office also monitors predators and victims of sexual assaults, and analyzes characteristics related to time, location and physical characteristics of alleged sexual assaults. In addition, the office monitors activities related to extortion, offender protection and alleged sexual assaults, identifying issues for further policy development.
The agency has initiated the Peer Education Program as a component of the Safe Prisons Program. This objective also seeks to change certain perceptions among some of the offender population regarding their attitudes toward prison sexual assaults. An Offender Peer Education coordinator has been hired to complement implementation of this strategy. This individual is responsible for managing all peer education services.
"I am honored and proud to serve the State of Texas in my capacity. I feel that it is a privilege for me to be able to dedicate myself to community service and to provide for public safety." Edward Ortega, Food Service Manager, Garza Facilities, Beeville
The CID deputy director, Support Operations, oversees the support functions on all prisons/facilities. This department, under the purview of Support Operations, includes Classification and Records, Correctional Training and Staff Development, and Offender Transportation.
Classification and Records
The Classification and Records Department oversees diverse matters pertaining to offender management and provides technical support for various administrative and unit-based departments. Under the department are: Counsel Substitute Program, Mail System Coordinators Panel, Office of Disciplinary Coordination, Unit Classification and Count Room Department, Intake Department, Spanish Language Coordinator, and the Security Threat Group Management Office. This department currently supervises 1,769 positions.
The Classification and Records Office (CRO) schedules, receives, processes and transports offenders for intake, release and transfers. It creates and maintains records on these offenders and serves as the principal repository for the agency’s offender records. During Fiscal Year 2005, the CRO doubled the capacity of the file room with the addition of a second tier of shelving for offender records. Additionally, with the advent of a new computer program, the CRO eliminated the use of the e-mail system for the release of offenders.
The Unit Classification and Count Room Department provides oversight training and technical support for all unit-based classification personnel and committees. During Fiscal Year 2005, Unit Classification provided training for new Classification chiefs, case managers, and intake staff . The Unit Classification coordinators trained and assisted in the populating of two leased bed facilities.
The Intake Department provides training, supervision and support for unit-based intake staff at 25 intake facilities statewide. In staff conducted operational review audits and facilitated the implementation and utilization of offender information and folder tracking computer programs which increased the efficiency of intake information processing.
The Office of Spanish Language Coordination manages Spanish language assistance services. This office is responsible for coordinating the testing of employees for oral proficiency in the Spanish language, designating qualified staff as Spanish language interpreters, translating select documents and providing technical support to agency staff. In addition, the office implemented an interpreter services tracking system mainframe computer program.
The State Classification Committee (SCC) is responsible for making initial custody recommendations and determining appropriate units of assignment for all offenders. The SCC reviews recommendations made by unit committees for promotions in time earning status, disciplinary actions, transfers and special housing assignments due to security or safety needs. The SCC worked closely with the Safe Prisons Program to identify aggressive and at-risk/weak offenders.
The Security Threat Group Management Office (STGMO) monitors the activities of security threat groups (gangs) and their members who threaten the safety and security of TDCJ units, staff, and offenders. The STGMO provides oversight, training, and technical support for the unit level staff who gathers information on the activities of security threat group members. The STGMO works closely with law enforcement agencies by sharing information on security threat groups and their members. The STGMO participated in the expansion of the Gang Renouncement and Disassociation Program at the Ramsey Unit.
The Counsel Substitute Program secures and protects the due process rights of offenders charged with disciplinary infractions by providing trained staff to assist offenders during the disciplinary process. These employees conduct certification training and provides technical assistance/continuous support for the disciplinary hearing officers and counsel substitute staff.
The Office for Disciplinary Coordination monitors facility compliance with disciplinary rules and procedures. This office produces management statistical reports each month, coordinates the revision to the disciplinary rules and procedures, updates and coordinates printing of the disciplinary handbooks and updates the standard offense pleadings handbook.
The mission of the Mail System Coordinators Panel (MSCP) is to assist offenders in keeping in touch with family and friends and facilitates offenders’ access to courts and public officials. The MSCP provides procedural training and technical assistance for unit mailroom staff and conducts operational review mailroom audits. MSCP generates investigations regarding receipts of threats and unidentifiable substances in uninspected mail. A mainframe computer screen was developed to provide easier access to negative mail information. MSCP reviews of publications increased due to a new rule regarding the prohibition of sexually explicit images.
The Community Liaison Office facilitates the coordination and implementation of reentry initiatives and Prison Deterrence Education programs for the agency. These tasks necessitate communication and coordination with local, state and national community organizations and agencies, as well as multiple divisions, departments and units within TDCJ. This office also has oversight and reporting responsibilities for post-trauma and prison tour information. The Community Liaison Office was tasked this year with revising and developing new procedures for the agency’s Prison Deterrence Education programs.
Correctional Training and Staff Development
Correctional Training and Staff Development (CTSD) provided pre-service training to 5,259 participants with a 92 percent graduation rate. Additionally, 29,204 employees attended annual in-service training, 2,280 staff received specialized training services, 3,081 agency supervisors attended Leadership Development Training and 2,445 participated in Ancillary Training.
A top priority for Fiscal Year 2005 was improving the quality of supervision the correctional officers receive. To that end, CTSD developed and implemented a new training course to provide newly-promoted sergeants with the skills, knowledge and abilities to perform their job duties effectively and efficiently. This course consists of 12 consecutive days (87 hours) of training and includes the required Principles of Supervision and Human Resources Topics for Supervisors courses as well as security scenarios, historical tours, and job specific lessons designed to increase working proficiency and job performance. Based on the overwhelmingly positive response to the new Sergeants Academy, CTSD is developing a corresponding program to target veteran sergeants. The mission of this new course is to provide tenured sergeants with high quality, fast-paced interactive training that both informs and motivates. The class will be six days in length and will be provided to 36 employees each month.
The In-Service Training Program also underwent some changes during Fiscal Year 2005 to include the addition of one unit-based site at the Hughes Unit in Gatesville and the re-activation of the program at the Pack Unit in Navasota. There are a total of 27 unit-based in-service sites.
In an effort to expand the pool of applicants for correctional officer positions, TDCJ now offers part-time pre-service training academies, along with accelerated pre-service academies scheduled between college semesters.
Offender Transportation is headquartered in Huntsville at the Byrd Unit with five satellite offices located in Amarillo, Abilene, Tennessee Colony, Rosharon and Beeville.
This department is responsible for unit-to-unit transfers, state and federal court appearances, medical transfers, county jail transfers, out-of-state extraditions, and responding to emergencies (i.e., floods, hurricanes, and other emergencies).
Offender Transportation has a staff of 325 employees (318 are security and 8 are non-security). Offender Transportation has a fleet of vehicles consisting of 117 buses, 62 vans, five handicap vans and one car.
More than 4.5 million miles were traveled and 508,469 offenders transported in Fiscal Year 2005. This department works closely with Classification and Records to ensure timely, efficient and safe transport of offenders.
The Parole Division supervises offenders released from prison on parole or mandatory supervision to complete their sentences in Texas communities. The mission of the division is to promote public safety and positive offender change through effective supervision, programs, and services. The Parole Division is also responsible for pre-release functions such as investigating release plans and preparing release-eligible cases for consideration by the Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP).
This year, more than 76,000 parole and mandatory supervision offenders were under active supervision by 1,225 district parole officers. Offenders must report to parole officers and comply with release conditions established by the BPP. Violations can result in arrest and re-incarceration. Parole officers also supervise offenders transferred to Texas from other states and the Texas Youth Commission.
Regional directors in Tyler, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Midland manage 67 district parole offices across the state. Officers monitor an offender’s compliance with conditions of release and society’s laws. Parole officers apply supervision strategies based on an assessment of each offender’s risk and needs.
The Central Coordination Unit (CCU) provides support services to Field Operations. CCU monitors the detainer/deportation caseload, verifies death notices, receives transfers from the Interstate Compact Office and monitors these cases. Lastly, CCU arranges for placement of offenders into and out of intermediate sanction facilities and substance abuse felony punishment facilities.
The Parole Division promotes successful offender reentry through programs and services designed to impact factors that contribute to recidivism and encourage offender compliance through appropriate levels of supervision and use of interventions in response to release violations.
This year, the Parole Division ombudsman responded to more than 6,994 inquiries from offenders’ families, parolees and mandatory supervision offenders, legislative offices, and the public. The ombudsman also addressed various family groups.
This section is comprised of three sections, all providing direct support to Parole Division Field Operations: Review and Release Processing, Specialized Programs, and Warrants.
Review and Release Processing
Review and Release Processing identifies inmates eligible for release consideration by the BPP. After identifying the inmate through a systematic case-pull process, an institutional parole officer compiles a comprehensive case summary containing information related to the decision-making process. The case summary includes the offender’s criminal history, prior alcohol and drug use, along with social, psychological and institutional adjustment. Institutional parole officers work in nine offices located in prison units across the state.
This year, the section produced more than 72,900 case summaries and 14,400 discretionary mandatory supervision transmittals for BPP use in making release decisions. It prepared 10 summaries for BPP use in making clemency decisions on death penalty cases, and processed more than 15,885 parole and 14,964 mandatory/discretionary supervision releases. It also maintained approximately 258,000 offender files and responded to more than 236,000 letters and 360,000 telephone inquiries regarding the status of an offender’s review and release.
This group administers a variety of programs and services to enhance the division’s ability to supervise and reintegrate offenders following release from prison. Specialized Programs also evaluates the effectiveness of policies, programs, and supervision.
District Resource Centers (DRCs) target newly-released offenders with high needs by using a comprehensive approach to supervision that promotes personal responsibility and growth, victim empathy, and accountability. Volunteers and community agencies address needs in anger management, cognitive restructuring, substance abuse, victim impact, and pre-employment preparation. A rapid response system monitors compliance. In Fiscal Year 2005, DRCs served a monthly average of 1,708 offenders.
"While working for the Parole Division I have been challenged, educated, and honored to be able to work with an agency that assists in the protection of the public." Lela Smith, SISP Officer II, Austin I DPO
The Super-Intensive Supervision Program (SISP) imposes the highest level of supervision and offender accountability, including 24-hour electronic monitoring. The Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) program tracks an offender 24 hours a day and is reserved for the highest-risk offenders. This year, a monthly average of 1,342 SISP offend-ers was on electronic monitoring and 22 on GPS monitoring. A pilot passive GPS program monitored 25 offenders during the fiscal year.
Passive GPS downloads track data once offenders return to their residence.
Electronic Monitoring (EM) allows an officer to detect curfew and home confinement violations electronically. Offenders at higher risk of re-offending or who have violated release conditions may be placed on electronic monitoring. A monthly average of 895 offenders was supervised on EM this year.
The Special Needs Offender Program (SNOP) supervises mentally retarded (MR), mentally impaired (MI), and terminally ill or physically handicapped (TI/PH) offenders. Services are provided through the Health and Human Services Commission. Some of these offenders are released early due to Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision (MRIS). This year, the monthly average of MR offenders on SNOP was 225. MI offenders numbered 2,954 and TI/PH offenders 657.
The Sex Offender Program supervised a monthly average of 3,290 sex offenders in Fiscal Year 2005. Sex offender treatment services are provided statewide through contracted vendors. The division subsidizes treatment for indigent offenders who could not otherwise afford services. Polygraph testing is a significant component of evaluating and treating sex offenders and is also provided for indigent offenders. The division initiated and provided due process to over 300 offenders in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit decision that offenders without a sex offense conviction be afforded due process prior to imposition of the sex offender treatment special condition.
The Therapeutic Community (TC) Program offers continuity of care to offenders with substance abuse problems. This three phase aftercare program targets offenders who have participated in an in-prison therapeutic community or substance abuse felony punishment facility. A monthly average of 2,354 offenders in the TC program received services from contracted vendors and specialized parole officers.
The Substance Abuse Counseling Program (SACP) also provides counseling and referral services to offenders with substance abuse problems. Parole Division counselors are assigned to various district parole offices to provide counseling services and serve as a resource. A monthly average of 1,206 offenders was on the SACP caseload throughout the year.
The Serious and Violent Reentry Initiative (SVORI) provides transitional services to administrative segregation offenders that begins during incarceration and continues after release to supervision. Upon release, programming and services continue through DRCs for one year. By year’s end, 57 SVORI offenders were placed in SVORI, Phase II.
Project RIO is administered by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in collaboration with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Windham School District, local workforce development boards, and the Texas Youth Commission. RIO offers a link between education, training, and employment during incarceration, providing training, education, and employment referrals after release. The program is designed to reduce recidivism through offender employment. Numerous studies have shown reduced recidivism rates for employed ex-offenders. Services are offered before and after release. TWC-RIO served approximately 15,026 offenders during the fiscal year, with approximately 12,152 obtaining employment.
This section is primarily responsible for the issuance, confirmation (execution upon arrest), and cancellation or withdrawal of pre-revocation warrants. Of the 32,282 warrants issued this year, 29,904 were confirmed, and 22,188 were cancelled or withdrawn.
The section has two units in operation 24 hours a day. The Command Center processes violation reports submitted by parole officers in the field and alerts received from electronic monitoring and global positioning system vendors and halfway houses. The Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (TLETS) Unit responds to requests for warrant information from law enforcement and maintains information on fugitives.
The Extradition Unit tracks Texas offenders arrested in other states and offenders returned to a TDCJ Correctional Institutions Division facility who have not been through the pre-revocation process. This year, 729 extradited offenders were returned to Texas and 238 warrants were issued for Texas offenders under Interstate Compact supervision in other states.
The Tracking Unit tracks offenders held in Texas county jails on pre-revocation warrants and ensures that the offender’s case is disposed of within the time limits prescribed by law. The Time Credit Unit calculates the amount of time an offender should be credited with while in custody on a pre-revocation warrant. The Absconder Location Unit locates absconded offenders with outstanding active warrants and operates the Absconder Tip Line to allow the public to report locations of these offenders.
Internal Review and In-Service Training
Internal Review and In-Service Training delivered the second phase of training for the offender Information Management System (OIMS) to all Parole Division field staff. Specialized offender supervision schools are held quarterly to train officers with specialized caseloads. In addition, Human Resource Training for Supervisors and Principles of Supervision courses are held quarterly in Austin for all newly promoted managers.
Internal reviews of the district parole offices were suspended for calendar year 2005 to allow for changes made to the annual review which measures overall performance of the offices. These changes were essential due to the use of the Offender Information Management System by all field staff. Annual reviews will resume in January 2006.
Central File Coordination Unit
The Central File Coordination Unit (CFCU) coordinates the movement and maintenance of approximately 257,735 case files of offenders under Parole Division jurisdiction and inmates within six months of their release eligibility dates. These case files also include offenders who are currently incarcerated and will, at some point in the future, be eligible for parole. Staff responds to requests for case files from multiple sources including institutional parole offices, Parole Board offices, Review and Release Processing, the Hearing Section, the Office of the Attorney General and executive administration.
CFCU tracks and verifies restitution owed by offenders, processes case files on the offender’s discharge date, and responds to Open Records Requests and correspondence. The unit also tracks Workman’s Compensation claims and maintains safety training statistics on Parole Division employees.
Health Services Division
The Health Services Division monitors access to timely and quality health care for offenders incarcerated within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The agency contracts with the Correctional Managed Health Care Committee (CMHCC) for the provision of all health services at TDCJ facilities.
The 73rd Legislature established the CMHCC and empowered the committee with developing a managed health care plan for offenders in TDCJ. This statutory mandate was implemented through a series of contractual relationships. TDCJ contracts with the CMHCC which, in turn, contracts with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and the Texas Tech University Health Science Center at Lubbock (TTUHSC) to provide health care to TDCJ offenders. The universities may then contract with private vendors.
This health care delivery system was implemented in TDCJ on September 1, 1994. Each university and private vendor has its own internal organizational structure to assure the integrity and quality of the managed health care program. Within each program is a medical director, administrator, nursing director, dental director, mental health director, clinical pharmacists, clinical laboratory personnel, and health records staff.
TDCJ, UTMB, TTUHSC, and the private vendors are in partnership to implement and enforce the health care delivery system. Each entity functions as an independent organization with separate and distinct lines of supervision and responsibilities. The director of the TDCJ Health Services Division has no supervisory or enforcement authority over the university or private vendor health care staff and no responsibility for the daily medical operations. That responsibility rests solely with the appropriate university medical director or private vendor medical director.
Functions performed by the TDCJ Health Services Division include:
- Monitoring the offenders’ access to the various health care disciplines (i.e., medical nursing, dental, and mental health).
- Cooperating with the university medical schools and the private contractors in monitoring quality of care. The clinical and professional resources of the health care providers are used to the greatest extent feasible for clinical oversight of quality of care issues as mandated by government code.
- Conducting compliance (operational review) audits.
- Investigating and responding to Step 2 medical grievances, inquires, and complaints.
- Controlling the transmission of infectious diseases in TDCJ. The Office of Preventative Medicine collects statistics on the occurrence of selected diseases, publishes guidelines and policies for infection control, investigates disease outbreaks, provides technical consultation, and prepares educational materials and programs for staff and offenders. The office coordinates the Peer Education Program for offenders.
- Recommending unit assignment requirements to meet the medical needs of offenders, screening offenders for programs and acting as a liaison for the university providers, counties, and private vendors is the responsibility of the Health Services liaison.
"I am honored to serve this agency because it makes me a part of an organization that is always willing to come together and help one another in their time of need. We are different individuals that make up one body and we do not mind giving our time and money helping each other."
Alice James, Offender Grievance, Health Services Division
Rehabilitation and Reentry Programs Division
The Rehabilitation and Reentry Programs Division centralizes the administration of activities related to offender programs and services involving two or more divisions. The division administers rehabilitation and reintegration programs designated by the Texas Board of Criminal Justice.
Chaplaincy uses a holistic approach to enhance an offender’s spirituality. Programs are provided to reduce recidivism, thereby increasing public safety through development of life-changing goals among offenders. The Life Changes Academy includes spiritual growth groups, family and life-skills, accountability and mentoring.
The agency identifies and refers offenders with two or more qualifying sexually violent offense convictions to a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) for possible civil commitment under the Texas Health and Safety Code. This process applies to offenders released on or after January 1, 2000. In Fiscal Year 2005, the MDT reviewed 538 offenders and referred 107 for psychological assessment. TDCJ referred 56 offenders to the Special Prosecution Unit (SPU), and the SPU filed court petitions in 12 cases. Eleven offenders were committed during the fiscal year. As of August 31, 2005, a total of 54 offenders have been committed under the statute.
The agency, in 1996, began collecting blood specimens for DNA analysis from offenders convicted of certain sex offenses. Effective September 1, 2005, all offenders incarcerated in a TDCJ facility or a facility under contract with TDCJ must submit a DNA sample. In Fiscal Year 2005, a total of 33,498 offenders provided DNA samples. The samples are sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety for analysis and entry into the national DNA database.
Operated by Prison Fellowship Ministries at the Vance Unit in Sugar Land, Inner-Change is a pre-release program which underscores personal responsibility, education, work values, care for persons and property, and faith-based living. This program spans 18 months within the institution and has a transitional aftercare component.
The Female Offender Section researches correctional trends in the management of females as well as gender responsive programs based on their unique needs.
The Plane/Henley State Jail Wrap-Around Program continues for female confinees returning to Harris County. The program allows community resource providers to meet the confinee prior to her release to develop a strategy to meet her needs. This reduces duplication in service provision, increases community support for the confinee and allows her to receive services needed to decrease her risk of returning to custody.
Females at three state jail facilities make stuffed animals for the Salvation Army Toy Project in San Antonio. These toys are distributed at Christmas to children who might otherwise not receive gifts.
The Happy Hats for Kids Project benefits children with catastrophic illnesses at several children’s hospitals in Texas. The female offenders at the Hilltop Unit in Gatesville are provided all the necessary materials to create "Happy Hats," which are distributed to children, their family members, and hospital staff during Happy Hats visits. The goal is to create an atmosphere of laughter, the best healer of many hurts.
GO KIDS (Giving Offenders’ Kids Incentive and Direction to Succeed) Initiative
Studies have shown, without intervention, children of incarcerated parents are six to eight times more likely to become involved in a criminal lifestyle. Cognizant of the vital role all members of a family play in the life of a child, TDCJ implemented the GO KIDS initiative.
GO KIDS touches both offenders, through programs geared towards strengthening the parent-child relationship, as well as the offenders’ families and children, by providing a reliable connection to valuable community resources. The initiative is particularly focused on identifying those resources that can help the children of individuals under criminal justice supervision in Texas.
Offender Controlled Substance Testing
In September 1998, the agency implemented a controlled substance testing program for offenders. Each quarter, random samples are taken from a percentage of offenders at each facility. During Fiscal Year 2005, TDCJ tested 29,611 incarcerated offenders with 770 (2.6 percent) testing positive for a controlled substance. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, remains the most frequently detected substance among incarcerated offenders.
Pre-Release Therapeutic Community
Utilizing principles of a therapeutic community, this six-month program promotes appropriate behavior changes in offenders through collaboration between Windham School District, the Parole Division, the Rehabilitation and Reentry Programs Division and offenders. Participants are afforded cognitive intervention training, chemical dependency education, vocational training and self-help support groups - providing the offender with the opportunity to gain skills sufficient to ensure law-abiding behavior.
Serious and Violent offender Reentry Initiative Program
In an attempt to reduce the recidivism rate among administrative segregation offenders and assist them in their reentry to the community, TDCJ applied for and received a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to create the SVORI Program. This 63-bed program is housed at the Estelle Unit’s expansion cellblock facility in Huntsville. The program provides pre-release in-cell programming, transitional services, and post-release supervision for offenders. SVORI is a coordinated partnership between the Correctional Institutions Division, the Rehabilitation and Reentry Programs Division, and Parole Divisions of TDCJ, as well as the Windham School District and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. The program is 18 months in duration and consists of two phases. Phase I is a six-month in-cell cognitive-based program that is provided through computer-based equipment prior to the offender’s release. Phase II spans 12 months and is a continuum of care upon transition from Phase I. The Parole Division works with the offender during Phase I to ensure a smooth transition.
"I am honored to serve as a Texas Department of Criminal Justice employee because we have chosen to embrace a therapeutic community system as part of the consequences in the prison experience. I believe that has the greatest potential for a positive impact upon an offender’s transition back into our communities and in becoming productive members of society."
Marta McGonagle, Intensive Treatment Director, Rehabilitation & Reentry Programs Division
Sex offender Treatment
The Sex Offender Treatment Program is an 18-month rehabilitation initiative for sexual offenders who are within 24 months of release. Curriculum is based on a cognitive-behavioral model as recommended by the National Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. The goal of the program is to lower the re-offense risk among sexual offenders. Eligible offenders must be within 18 months of their release and be considered a moderate to high risk to re-offend sexually.
The Sex Offender Educational Program is a four-month instructive presentation of topics designed to minimize the risk of sex offenders re-offending. Eligible offenders must be within 18 months of release and be considered a low risk to re-offend sexually.
Substance Abuse Treatment
Many offenders sentenced to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice have addictions to drugs or alcohol, which may have directly or indirectly contributed to their criminal behavior and subsequent incarceration. The program provides services appropriate to the needs of offenders from commitment to termination of supervision. Successful participation in programming helps offenders maintain pro-social lifestyles upon return to their community.
Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facilities (SAFPF) are a six month in-prison treatment component followed by three months of residential aftercare in a Transitional Treatment Center (TTC), six to nine months of outpatient aftercare, and up to twelve months of support groups and follow-up supervision. A nine month in-prison treatment component for special needs offenders that have mental and/or medical disorders. Offenders in this program are sentenced by a judge to SAFPF as a condition of their community supervision (probation) in lieu of going to prison/state jail or as a modification of their parole. Offenders convicted with certain sex-offender related felonies are not eligible for this program.
In-Prison Therapeutic Community (IPTC) is similar to SAFPF in treatment components and length. This program is available to incarcerated offenders within six months of parole release identified as needing substance abuse treatment. The Board of Pardons and Paroles must vote to place qualified offenders in the program. Offenders successfully completing the program are then released on parole.
For more than half a century, TDCJ has had a long and rich legacy of civic participation, public engagement, and resource development with volunteers. Today, TDCJ recognizes, encourages, and supports the valuable contributions of religious, community service, business, treatment-related, and other volunteer groups and organizations. All volunteer programming will support the agency’s mission and adhere to sound correctional practices for the purpose of maintaining the orderly operation of the TDCJ. Volunteers currently provide services to offenders in areas of substance abuse treatment, chaplaincy, sex offender treatment, victim services, Windham School District and the Parole Division. These services include development of life skills, education and vocational training, tutoring, mentoring, job skills and work habits, parenting training, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, support groups and many faith-based programs.
Youthful Offender Program
The Youthful Offender Program (YOP) was established in 1995 in response to changes in the law allowing offenders as young as 14 to be tried and sentenced as adults. There are two programs within the YOP - sheltered housing and a therapeutic community.
The youth in sheltered housing are separated from the adult population and have an opportunity for school, work and vocation.
Therapeutic community youth are separated from the adult population and other youthful offenders in their housing and living areas with opportunity for school and intensive treatment. Treatment includes education, social skills training, anger management, values development, goal setting, cognitive restructuring, substance abuse counseling, conflict resolution, aggression replacement, life skills, and focus groups (parenting, cultural diversity, grief/ loss, gang intervention, victim empathy and employment preparation).
Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments
The Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments (TCOOMMI) is responsible for addressing the establishment of a comprehensive continuity of care system that emphasizes its primary goals of public safety and treatment intervention for juveniles and adults (including the elderly) with mental illness, mental retardation, development disabilities, serious or chronic medical conditions, physical disabilities.
"Ourofficeis the only one that coordinates planned services for offenders with mental and medical impairments. That’s why I’m honored to work here."
Val Kirby, Administrative Assistant, TCOOMMI
In Fiscal Year 2005, legislative mandates of TCOOMMI included, but were not limited to, the following:
- Revising and implementing memoranda of understanding between TDCJ, the departments of State Health Services, Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and Aging and Disability Services, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Safety and Education for a seamless continuity of care process for special needs offenders and more specialized training for peace officers.
- Providing funds to jails for post-release (from state hospitals) medications for defendants deemed competent for criminal proceedings.
- Coordinating with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to refine the "CARE match" system for offenders who are current or past clients of community mental health centers at the time of incarceration.
- Coordinating with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to conduct a statewide study on mental health screening and treatment practices in local jails.
- Monitoring statewide compliance with the sharing of confidential information among local/state criminal justice and health/human services agencies.
- Coordinating with regulatory, juvenile justice, criminal justice, health & human service agencies, and other TCOOMMI advisory members to address service delivery barriers affecting offenders with special needs.
Community-based programs provided intensive case management, jail diversion, continuity of care and support services to juvenile and adult offenders who were on any form of community supervision (i.e. pre-trial, probation, and parole). During Fiscal Year 2005, a total of 26,814 adults and juveniles received community-based treatment services.
Continuity of Care
Continuity of Care (COC) programs provided pre and post-release screening and referral for aftercare medical or psychiatric treatment services for special needs offenders. In Fiscal Year 2005, 5,996 offenders were released through the COC program.
Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision
Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision (MRIS) provided early parole review of adult offenders who are mentally ill, mentally retarded, terminally ill, physically handicapped, elderly, or require long-term care. During Fiscal Year 2005, 1,729 inmates were screened, 475 were presented to the Parole Board, and 174 inmates were approved for MRIS.
Social Security Pre-Application Process
Social Security benefit applications were initiated for 2,536 inmates 90 days prior to release. For Fiscal Year 2005, a 36 percent approval rate was achieved.
Additional TCOOMMI Activities
TCOOMMI also has been charged with a number of new legislative mandates as a result of the 79th Regular Legislative Session which include, but are not limited to:
- Monitoring the expansion of mental health court programs as they take on felonies in addition to misdemeanors.
- Working with University of Texas Medical Branch and Texas Tech University to develop an automated report to assist in identifying offenders eligible for MRIS.
- Implementing a Permian Basin Mental Health Deputy Pilot Program in Ector and Midland counties.
- Developing standards for post-release supervision and treatment for persons found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI), and are civilly committed to Community Supervision and Corrections Departments and TCOOMMI for outpatient services.
- Developing a "template" for all competency exams conducted in the various jurisdictions of the state court system to ensure statewide minimum standards and consistency in exam content.
Victim Services Division
"It is an honor to work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Victim Services Division because it allows me to help victims take part and have a voice in the parole process. Plus, I have the opportunity to make a positive difference for them during this difficult time."
Mary Saldana Clerk III, Victim Services Division
The mission of the Victim Services Division is to coordinate a central mechanism for victims to participate in the criminal justice process within an environment of integrity, fairness, compassion and dignity.
Victim Notification System
The Victim Notification System (VNS) is a confidential, 75-point notification database that provides victims, their families, and concerned citizens written information throughout the parole review process. At the end of Fiscal Year 2005, there were 95,983 individuals registered on the VNS database and 121,564 pieces of correspondence were processed.
Toll Free Information Hotline: (800) 848-4284
Between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, Victim Services’ representatives answer calls and provide information about offender status, the criminal justice system, personal meetings with the Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP) and services available to victims through the division. There were 54,361 telephone calls processed in Fiscal Year 2005.
Automated Victim Notification System
The Automated Victim Notification System (AVNS) is a toll-free automated telephone service which allows victims to obtain offender information 24 hours a day in English or Spanish with a voice recognition feature for rotary telephones. If requested by a victim, the AVNS can automatically call to notify them when an offender is being processed for release. This system is a service offered to victims in addition to written notification. There were 17,111 AVNS "call ins" and 1,373 AVNS "call outs" in Fiscal Year 2005.
With assistance of a grant from the Office of the Attorney General, the Victim Services Division will be joining the statewide Victim Information and Notification Everyday system, or VINE, in Fiscal Year 2006. This new automated notification system will link its services to a more seamless statewide notification system.
Case File Analysts
Offender case files are managed by the case file analysts who liaison between victims and Parole Board members, criminal justice professionals, and law enforcement personnel. Assistance is provided for victims requesting imposition of special conditions, explanation of the parole process, and interpretation of state parole laws. In Fiscal Year 2005, 839 cases were analyzed and 236 transmittals were processed to the BPP requesting special conditions or protesting the release of an offender.
Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse
The Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse (TxCVC) provides technical assistance, information and referrals to victims, victim service providers, law enforcement, and criminal justice professionals. Every odd-numbered year, the TxCVC updates the Victim Impact Statement (VIS) upon adjournment of the legislative session. In 2003, revisions included two brochures and the Crime Victims Bill of Rights. There is also an age appropriate VIS for child victims designed to be more user friendly to children. The VIS is also available in Spanish and Braille upon request. In late 2005 the TxCVC began revising the VIS based on any legislation passed during the 2005 legislative session.
The TxCVC also sponsors an annual conference bringing victims, victim advocates, service providers, probation and parole professionals and criminal justice professionals together to train, network and share information. The annual event is held in Austin every odd-numbered year to coincide with the Texas legislative session. The 2005 TxCVC Conference in Austin had 350 participants.
A Memorial Library is available for victims to obtain books and videotapes to aid in the recovery process and items may be checked out for 30 days at a time.
Victim Impact Panel Program
Through the Victim Impact Panel Program (VIPP), victims/survivors of crime have the opportunity to share details of their victimization by addressing audiences of criminal justice professionals and offenders. The goal is to involve victims/survivors in the criminal justice process and give them a voice, thereby promoting their personal healing. The audience gains victim awareness, empathy and sensitivity, thus alleviating the chances of further victimization. There were 71 impact panels conducted in Fiscal Year 2005 with 47 new victim panelists and 113 referral or repeat panelists participating.
Victim Offender Mediation/ Dialogue Program
The Victim Offender Mediation/Dialogue (VOM/D) Program provides victims and survivors of violent crime the opportunity to have a structured, face-to-face meeting with their offender in a safe environment. Mediation is a vehicle chosen by some victims to aid in the healing and recovery process, and to get answers to questions only the offender can answer.
Under certain circumstances, "creative alternatives" are utilized in lieu of a face-to-face mediation. Use of surrogate offenders or videotaped statements by the victim or the offender are two such examples of creative alternatives. There were 33 mediations completed in Fiscal Year 2005.
Victim and Community Support and Education Program
This section oversees a variety of services available to victims including training, assisting victims who view executions, and prison tours. To enhance victim awareness and sensitivity, targeted training audiences include criminal justice professionals, victims, victim advocates, and offenders. When appropriate, training staff utilizes victim impact panels. Training was provided to 451 victim advocates and service providers, students, offenders, criminal justice professionals and law enforcement personnel in Fiscal Year 2005.
Victim Services screens appropriate individuals for viewing executions. Victims viewing executions can request as many as five relatives or close friends who wish to witness the offender’s execution. If the victim so desires, witnesses may also include law enforcement personnel and/or trial officials in their five choices. Witnesses are prepared for and accompanied to the execution viewing by a Victim Services staff member. Contact is made following the execution to assess if post-trauma symptoms are evident and to make referrals as appropriate. From September 2004 through August 2005, at least one Victim Services representative attended 15 executions, providing support to 46 victim witnesses.
Prison tours are conducted to educate criminal justice staff, victims and others about the realities of prison life in Texas. During Fiscal Year 2005, there were three prison tours with 73 participants. The tours included a visit to two prison units and the execution chamber.
Bridges To Life
The Bridges To Life/Victim offender Encounter Program (BTL/VOE) allows victims inside prison walls to meet with offenders who are near release. The 12-week consecutive visits are conducted in small group settings, and discussion topics include crime, domestic violence, DWI, accountability, guilt, forgiveness, and restitution. During Fiscal Year 2005, there were 25 BTL/VOE projects completed with 204 victim participants, including many who participated in one or more projects.
The division’s Advisory Council meets quarterly to assess victim needs and relay information to and from statewide organizations. Various victim advocate groups - state and federal agencies, as well as concerned citizens - represent two-year term members. This year’s guest speakers addressed issues in victim advocacy, ethics, victim support in capital cases, community advocacy for children and the legislative and appropriations processes.
Hope for Healing Ministries, Inc. and the Victim Memorial Center
Hope for Healing Ministries is a restorative justice project in strategic alliance with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Victim Services Division. Hope for Healing Ministries, Inc., continues to search for land sites for the Victim Memorial Center and commemorative statue to be located in Huntsville, Texas.
Administrative Review & Risk Management Division
The Administrative Review & Risk Management Division promotes excellence in correctional practice through monitoring, identifying areas of potential risk or liability, and facilitating action to maintain safety, accountability, efficiency, and professionalism.
Access to Courts Program
Access to Courts ensures offenders are provided their constitutional right of access to courts, counsel, and public officials; and that access is adequate, effective, and meaningful as required by law. It provides critical functions at each unit, including legal research resources, attorney visits and phone calls, Open Records requests, telephonic court hearings, correspondence supplies for indigent offenders, notary public services, offender legal and educational in-cell storage management, parole revocation hearing reviews, and court transcript administration. Total cumulative attendance in law library sessions for Fiscal Year 2005 was more than 684,273 offender visits. Legal resource delivery to segregated offenders totaled 344,056 items.
Administrative Monitor for Use of Force
This office manages current Use of Force policies and procedures and coordinates training systemwide to advance staff understanding and compliance with policy. In addition, office staff conducted reviews of approximately 5,595 Major Use of Force reports during the fiscal year.
Monitoring adherence to agency policy at each correctional facility is the primary focus of this program. This is accomplished at the unit level through on going monthly reviews and every three years at the division level. Follow-up reviews are then conducted within four months to document resolution of findings requiring corrective action. In addition, staff investigates allegations of offender impermissible conduct (i.e., supervisory authority over other offenders, special privileges, and access to sensitive information).
State Accreditation Office
This office coordinates and assists TDCJ correctional facilities in obtaining accreditation from the American Correctional Association (ACA). Founded in 1870, ACA is committed to promoting and improving the field of corrections through the development of internationally accepted standards by which correctional facilities’ performance is measured. Nine facilities and one secure parole facility received their ‘initial’ accreditation during Fiscal Year 2005, bringing the total number of accredited facilities to 37. Eleven additional facilities are scheduled for ACA accreditation review in Fiscal Year 2006.
"I love the job I do. Anyone who comes to work for the state has the opportunity to make their own destiny. The state has been very good to me, and I just love what I do."
Mary Billups, Risk Manager, Beto Unit
Offender Grievance Program
This program provides offenders with a formal mechanism to hear and resolve concerns affecting their everyday lives. By providing an outlet for offender grievances, the program also enhances the safety of staff while providing agency administrators with valuable insight into issues and problem resolution on the units. During Fiscal Year 2005, unit grievance investigators handled more than 171,000 grievances at the unit level, while central office staff processed more than 42,000 appeals. These statistics are indicative of the success of the program in that offenders felt the need to appeal to a higher level in only 25 percent of grievances filed.
The Ombudsman offices provide the public access to agency staff who can answer questions and address concerns. The Ombudsman Coordinator’s Office in Huntsville supports Ombudsman staff in the Community Justice Assistance, Correctional Institutions (prisons, state jails, and private confinement facilities), and Parole divisions. Ombudsmen responded to approximately 18,360 inquiries in Fiscal Year 2005 through the U.S. mail, telephone and the Internet. The office also arranged for agency representatives to speak at 32 engagements sponsored by offender family support organizations.
This program has oversight for unit/department occupational safety and health standards, emergency management planning and disaster recovery, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and liability loss control. It coordinates with all agency departments to implement risk reduction strategies regarding personnel, property, and fiscal resources. Fiscal Year 2005 saw a 7.7 percent reduction in employee injuries resulting in a reduction in workers compensation claims.
The former agency director’s residence, located adjacent to the Huntsville Unit, was transformed into a staff and program development center for TDCJ in 1996 and hosted approximately 353 meetings during the fiscal year.
Business and Finance Division
Business and Finance supports the agency through sound fiscal management, provision of financial services and statistical information, purchasing and leasing services, agribusiness, land and mineral operations, maintaining a fiduciary responsibility over offender education and recreation funds, and ensuring fiscal responsibility through compliance with laws and court-mandated requirements.
Accounting and Business Services Department
Accounting and Business Services carries out the financial operations of the agency to include providing meaningful financial information, supporting financial processes, and maintaining effective financial control.
Accounting and Business Services consists of Accounting Services, Accounts Payable, Cashier/Travel Services, Business Process Support, and Financial Systems and Reporting. Parolee supervision fees and restitution payments are also processed and remitted. The department is responsible for general accounting for state funds and produces the agency’s annual financial report. This is achieved through the use of the agency financial system, LONESTARS (which is managed by the department) and the Uniform Statewide Accounting System.
In providing financial oversight for all other agency departments, the Budget Department plans, formulates, analyzes and monitors agency revenues and expenditures by activity, function and department. The planning process is initiated through preparation of the Agency Strategic Plan which is monitored quarterly by a system of performance measures. The department then compiles the biennial Legislative Appropriations Request, which serves as the fiscal representation of the Agency Strategic Plan.
The Texas Legislature appropriated approximately $5.2 billion to TDCJ for the 2006-2007 biennium. The Fiscal Year 2006 Operating Budget developed, and continuously monitored by the Budget Department, totals almost $2.6 billion.
The department routinely interacts with the State’s executive, legislative and regulatory agencies which include the Legislative Budget Board, Governor’s Office of Budget and Planning, Public Finance Authority and the Bond Review Board.
Commissary and Trust Fund Department
The Commissary and Trust Fund Department is responsible for the administration and operation of the agency’s commissaries and inmate trust fund.
The inmate trust fund provides offenders access to personal funds for the purchase of commissary items, craft shop supplies, periodicals and subscriptions, and other approved expenditures. Approximately 90 percent of all funds deposited to the trust fund are received from offenders’ families and friends. An automated remittance system is used to encode, image, endorse, and facilitate the electronic posting of the large number of deposits collected by the trust fund. In Fiscal Year 2005, more than 1.7 million deposits totaling in excess of $92.3 million were received and processed.
The department operates two warehouse and distribution centers that provide merchandise for resale at commissary locations throughout the state. Merchandise sold ranges from candy, packaged meat products, coffee, and soft drinks to greeting cards, shoes, and electronics. Utilizing an offender’s bar-coded identifi cation card, the commissary’s point-of-sale system automatically records detailed sales transaction information and debits the offender’s trust fund account. Sales from commissary operations exceeded $77.1 million in Fiscal Year 2005.
In addition to supporting ongoing commissary and trust fund operations, income from commissary sales is used to fund or supplement certain offender programs. These include recreational activities, sports and fitness equipment, television equipment (located in common viewing areas) and library books and supplies.
Contracts and Procurement Department
By providing the mechanism to acquire the right goods and services at the right time and at the right price, the Contracts and Procurement Department contributes to a safer criminal justice system.
The department processed 43,390 Advanced Purchasing and Inventory Control Systems (ADPICS) purchase requisitions which included food for offenders, commissary resale items, agricultural products and equipment and raw materials for industry.
In addition, the department solicited offers from counties and began contracting for temporary capacity beds. The department provides continuing education training to purchasers to maintain professional certifications as well as ADPICS training to agency’s requisitioners.
The HUB Program’s primary mission is to promote full and equal business opportunities to Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs). HUBs, as defined by the Texas Building and Procurement Commission (TBPC), are businesses that have been historically underutilized and have at least 51 percent ownership in the following groups:
- Asia-Pacific Americans
- African Americans
- Hispanic Americans
- Native Americans
- American Women
The HUB program sponsors a vendor fair annually and participates in a number of HUB forums. It also assists in the certifying of HUB vendors, and this past year participated in the signing of five new architectural and engineering contracts with HUB firms.
"I work with and for some of the best people working for TDCJ. All the planets are lined up and we’ve got good people from my boss all the way to the top. Besides that, I get to ride some of the best horses in this part of the country."
Kevin McMillian, Livestock Supervisor, Wynne Unit
Office of Space Management
The responsibility of the Office of Space Management (OSM) is to acquire, allocate, approve and manage administrative lease space based on TDCJ’s needs and in compliance with various state statutes and departmental rules and regulations (i.e. TBPC). At the end of Fiscal Year 2005, OSM provided support for approximately 94 leases. In addition, OSM activities include ensuring efficient use of both lease and state-owned administrative space. Other OSM functions include: Liaison activities between TBPC, accounts payable and lessors concerning payment issues, assistance in resolution of maintenance issues between the tenant and lessor and assistance in obtaining necessary management and budgetary approvals on TDCJ’s behalf. When an emergency occurs in a leased administrative space, OSM staff provides immediate on-site assistance with relocation, support for communication needs, assistance related to public safety issues, and proper notification of the emergency to TBPC.
Payroll Processing Department
The primary responsibility of the Payroll Processing Department is to process the agency payroll (in excess of $1 billion annually) for approximately 39,000 TDCJ employees and 1,200 Windham School District employees. In addition, monthly payrolls for overtime, partial per diem, vacation lump sum, and retirement incentive are also processed. This department maintains the agency direct deposit program, which has approximately 33,000 participants; it also processes employee deductions for child support, student loan, bankruptcy, tax levy agreements, spousal maintenance, credit union payments and organizational dues.
A module was created in the Payroll Personnel System (PPS) in May 2005 to approve and electronically generate Payroll Status Change forms for all personnel actions - new hires, promotions, leaves with pay, and separations. This electronic process has eliminated the need to send an average of 4,000 payroll status changes through first class, overnight and truck mail.
Agribusiness, Land and Minerals
In 1885, the Texas Prison System purchased the first prison farm. By the turn of the century, as Texas developed into an agricultural state with a population of four million, the prison system branched out into large-scale agriculture. Today, the agency’s mission is to efficiently manage agricultural, mineral, and human resources while providing beneficial products, services, and offender rehabilitation opportunities, thereby enhancing security operations in support of the agency and the citizens of Texas.
A canning plant as well as beef and pork processing plants provide food products for agency kitchens. In Fiscal Year 2005, approximately 330,000 cases of canned vegetables, nine million pounds of pork, and about 12.8 million pounds of beef were produced by these facilities. The Agribusiness, Land and Minerals Department oversees oil and gas leasing as well as easements and other land issues.
Livestock operations include cattle, horses, dogs, swine and poultry. Through cooperative agreements, institutions such as Texas A & M University, Baylor University, the University of Texas and Sam Houston State University use agency livestock for research and educational purposes to improve the quality of life for all Texans.
A significant level of agency acreage is dedicated to field and edible crops. These crop enterprises generate products and sales annually. Additionally, more than 481,000 pounds of fresh produce was provided for Texas Food Banks to help feed the needy of our state.
The agency has entered into a cooperative agreement with the General Land Office (GLO) of Texas whereby the GLO owns and TDCJ manages 11,000 acres of land in Burleson County known as the Buffalo Ranch. The agency currently has beef cattle, field crop, and edible crop operations on this land. Additionally, the agency has entered into an agreement with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in the management of wildlife resources on this same land.
Agribusiness employs about 300 people, provides jobs for about 2,300 offenders and is assisted by an additional 5,000 field force offenders. These jobs keep the offenders busy in a productive atmosphere while allowing them to learn job skills that can be used to help find employment upon release. Agribusiness staff takes control and custody of offenders while they are at work, enhancing security operations. Through these programs and others, Agribusiness, Land & Minerals efficiently manages agricultural, mineral and human resources, provides beneficial products, services and opportunities for offender rehabilitation.
The Facilities Division is responsible for all aspects of facility management for the TDCJ physical plant including planning, design, construction, and maintenance services. The division consists of four departments - Engineering, Maintenance, Resources Management, and Program Analysis - to enhance customer support.
The Engineering Department is primarily focused on executing TDCJ’s facility project program to address security and infrastructure needs in the agency’s facilities through renovations, repairs, and replacement projects. The design solutions emphasize savings through reduction of energy consumption, water consumption, and other opportunities. In addition, the Engineering Department monitors all activities aff ecting environmental interests to ensure TDCJ complies with state and federal environmental laws and regulations. The department also provides program administration for utility services and energy requirements for all of TDCJ. The Engineering Department is also in the process of completing preliminary energy audits on all TDCJ facilities.
The Facilities Maintenance Department is responsible for maintaining the entire physical plant of TDCJ, including maintenance of all prison units, TDCJ-owned office structures, regional medical facilities, and training facilities. The department is responsible for maintaining an infrastructure that includes wastewater plants, water wells and distribution networks, and power distribution lines, as well as construction projects to upgrade these facilities. Ninety-four unit maintenance departments accomplish these tasks with assistance and technical oversight from six regional maintenance organizations. The Facilities Maintenance headquarters oversees unit and region activity and promotes programs in areas that include locking systems maintenance, the annual facility condition assessment, training, energy conservation and fire and safety programs. Equipment replacement and small capital projects are also managed by the Facilities Maintenance headquarters.
"It is an honor to serve an agency that plays such a vital role in providing a safer and more positive environment for our neighborhoods and communities. I am proud to be member of the Facilities family."
Sandra Garza Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Division
Subdivided into three branches, the department provides services in human resources, staff development and business services. The department is responsible for coordinating and distributing all division-level policies and procedures, collecting and distributing information included in statistical analysis, annual reports and executive division updates. Additionally, Resources Management is responsible for all of the division’s fixed assets. It provides human resources support to include recruitment, employment and employee benefits; the branch also provides training and staff development to all of the division’s employees.
Program Analysis supports the Facilities Division in all fiscal aspects to include the development and monitoring of budgets for capital construction projects and regional maintenance operations. In Fiscal Year 2005, the department expanded to include utilities and energy billing, which processes all electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater billing throughout the agency. In addition, the department increased its effectiveness by improving its internal processes and worked with regional maintenance staff to improve their financial reporting.
Information Technology Division
Automated information services and technology support were provided to all TDCJ departments plus the Board of Pardons and Paroles, Correctional Managed Health Care, and other external entities.
Approximately 30,000 personal computers, terminals, routers, radios, telephone switches and other devices are operated and supported on behalf of the agency. Additionally, the division operates and maintains numerous computer and telephone voice networks, along with a Wide Area Network (WAN) that connects parole offices, correctional facilities and administrative offices in Huntsville, Austin, and across the state. The division’s computer operations consist of two large mainframe computers and 11 servers located at the Texas State Data Center in San Angelo. This center processes more than 16.3 million transactions a day for the agency. Major technology initiatives completed included: Implementation of the Parole Supervision System to support the Parole Division; conversion to Multiprotocol Layer Switching (MPLS) technology on the WAN (a first of its kind for a Texas state agency, which improved network stability and laid the foundation for subsequent voice, data, and video convergence); and implementation of a new video conferencing system which utilizes video convergence technology over the WAN.
Manufacturing and Logistics Division
The Manufacturing & Logistics Division benefits the State of Texas by affording work and training opportunities for incarcerated offenders. The division provides quality service in warehousing operations, freight transportation, the management of the TDCJ fleet, and in producing quality manufactured products and services for TDCJ and other state agencies, and political subdivisions. The work and training programs offered to offenders help in reducing idleness and provide opportunities for offenders to learn marketable job skills and work ethics. On-the-job training and accredited certification programs, along with the Work Against Recidivism (WAR) program, are specifically targeted to successfully reintegrate the offender into society upon release from the TDCJ.
The division also collaborates with the Windham School District, post-secondary educational institutions, and other entities to establish work and training programs that are directed toward the effective rehabilitation of offenders thereby promoting a seamless integration of training opportunities. Training opportunities consist of apprenticeship programs, diversified career preparation programs, short course programs, on-the-job programs, and college vocational courses. These programs provide offenders with opportunities to acquire workplace knowledge and skills and help offenders develop a work ethic. The division has four designated training facilities located on the Daniel, Ferguson, Mountain View, and Wynne units to provide eligible offenders the opportunity to learn marketable skills and earn nationally accredited certifications in computer technician services, Braille transcription certifications from the Library of Congress, Geographic Information Systems, welding, construction, refrigerant application, and automotive services. The division also oversees five Prison Industry Enhancement (PIE) certification programs. The PIE programs located on the Boyd, Coffield, Hilltop, Lockhart, and Telford units manufacture aluminum windows, wiring harnesses & relay boxes, AC & heating valves, computer components, eyeglass ware and defacing operations.
Texas Correctional Industries
Texas Correctional Industries (TCI) manufactures goods and provides services to state and local government agencies, public educational systems, and other tax-supported entities. TCI has 41 facilities that manufacture everything from textile and janitorial products to furniture, license plates, tire recapping, and stainless steel goods. Sales for Fiscal Year 2005 were more than $78 million. TCI has two statutory objectives:
- Provide work program participants with marketable job skills to help reduce recidivism through a coordinated program of job skills training, documentation of work history, and access to resources provided by Project RIO and the Texas Workforce Commission, including access to resources provided through assistance to local workforce development boards in referring work program participants to the Project RIO employment referral services.
- Reduce department costs by providing products and services to the department and providing products and services for sale, on a for-profit basis, to the public, state agencies, and political subdivisions.
Fleet Management has oversight of more than 4,200 vehicles, buses, tractors, heavy equipment, trailers and other miscellaneous equipment. The agency is online with the new vehicle management system which has the ability to measure how effectively the agency uses a fleet of more than 2,100 active licensed vehicles.
Freight Transportation manages a fleet of 191 trucks and 415 trailers. During Fiscal Year 2005, four dispatch offices coordinated more than 27,000 freight hauls. Approximately 6.6 million miles were logged. Employees and offenders worked 272,713 hours.
Warehousing & Supply
Warehousing & Supply has eight warehouses with an average inventory of more than $24 million and maintains 8,881 items in stock. Approximately $115 million in supplies were distributed to food warehouses, the Prison Store and other facilities during Fiscal Year 2005.
"We have the responsibility of giving offenders a trade and the work experience that will help them to become productive citizens upon their release. Anytime you can keep an offender from coming back, you’ve done something good for the public. That’s why it’s an honor for me to work here."
Neil Rayford Manager of Offender Work & Training Programs Manufacturing & Logistics Division
Human Resources Division
The Human Resources (HR) Division provides consistent application of the agency’s human resources programs, policies, and services to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and to fulfill the needs of the agency’s employees.
HR Administrative Support
As a result of coordination with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), TDCJ earned the ESGR’s Five Star Recognition Award. This recognition is awarded to employers that demonstrate support of the men and women who serve in America’s National Guard and Armed Forces Reserve. The Five Star Recognition is earned by employers who go "above and beyond the call of duty" in accommodating employees’ military service.
HR participated in the State Classification Office’s Classification Compliance Audit of Office Services and Safety Officer positions. In addition, HR implemented changes adopted by the 79th Legislature that affected position classifications and descriptions.
Increased retirement processing activities continued throughout Fiscal Year 2005 as a result of the Lump Sum Retirement Incentive enacted by the 78th Legislature. There were 2,509 retirements during the incentive period, August 2003 - August 2005.
The TDCJ wellness program, Wellness Initiative Now, coordinated the agency’s participation in the 2005 Texas Round-Up Governor’s Challenge. There were 7,363 TDCJ employees, friends, and family members who participated in this six-week physical activity program, with 6,067 completing the entire event. More than 100 individuals participated in the 10K run/walk/relay held in Austin. In the race for the Governor’s Cup, TDCJ finished fourth in the large state agency category.
HR Staff Development delivered 35,418 training hours to 4,142 employees. The Executive Director’s Statement on Sexual Harassment video was also presented to employees. In addition, two training courses - Diversity and Sexual Harassment - are new initiatives.
The agency’s dispute resolution program for employees achieved a 96.1 percent agreement rate in 155 sessions. This success rate improved the daily working environment for participating staff.
HR Information Systems
The Correctional Officer Recruitment and Employment (CORE) automated system was implemented to provide for a quicker response time, better application tracking, and enhanced reporting capabilities. The Workers’ Compensation application was revised to utilize the State Office of Risk Management (SORM) standard codes and to have the capability to transfer batch information to SORM.
Recruitment and Selections
Correctional officer recruitment initiatives were enhanced by the conversion of existing HR positions to six recruiter positions and three support positions within this section. Recruitment strategies included an emphasis on the ‘Homes for Heroes’ home loan program (administered by the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation) as an outstanding benefit for eligible correctional officers. This program was extended by the 79th Legislature effective May 27, 2005, to TDCJ employees in hazardous duty positions.
"Assisting employees and applicants on behalf of the State of Texas and this agency is an honor. My life is blessed by my faith, a wonderful family, the opportunity to help others, and the friendship and teamwork of my co-workers."
Mellicent Wiley, Human Resources Specialist
The employment of 6,317 new correctional officers in Fiscal Year 2005 represented an increase of 391 over the number hired in Fiscal Year 2004. The shortage of 2,791 is an improvement from the Fiscal Year 2001 year-end shortage of 3,345. The correctional officer shortage continues to be the agency’s greatest workforce challenge.
Office of the Chief of Staff
In Fiscal Year 2005, the Office of the Chief of Staff had oversight of Governmental Affairs, Executive Support and Media Services.
Governmental Affairs ensures that all relevant legislation passed by the Texas Legislature is implemented in a timely fashion and coordinates with legislative committees to assist in supplying departmental statistics and resource information for committee members. This section also assists in the coordination of special projects and fields inquiries about the agency from legislative and executive offices.
Executive Support is comprised of two departments: Executive Services and the Emergency Action Center.
Executive Services provides technical support to TDCJ’s executive staff. Staff responds to routine inquiries regarding offender demographics, coordinates survey responses, and publishes a monthly "Select Statistics Report." They also compile agenda and meeting materials for the Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ) meetings, produce the minutes, monitor community work projects and coordinate Habitat for Humanity prison partnerships. Additionally, staff coordinates revision and distribution of the Department Policy and Operations Manual and is TDCJ’s Records Management Office. Executive Services also coordinates the State Employee Charitable Campaign and monitors fundraising for the agency. The department produces the following publications: Fiscal Year Statistical Report; Fiscal Year Statistical Summary; Unit Profiles; Agency Organizational Charts; General Information Guide for Families of offenders; and the TDCJ Records Retention Schedule.
Emergency Action Center
The Emergency Action Center (EAC) staffs a 24-hour communications center to provide a link between all agency managers, staff members, and other state and federal agencies regarding serious or unusual incidents occurring within the agency. EAC works closely with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management to provide assistance during statewide emergencies such as hurricanes, fires, and floods.
Media Services supports the agency in the production of printed and audiovisual materials, graphic design, photography, and web site management.
Seven informational and training videos dealing with criminal justice and prison management were written and produced during Fiscal Year 2005. Routine duties include providing video services and footage to allied criminal justice agencies, news media, and educators. Additionally, audio support is provided for TBCJ meetings and special events.
Media Services produces the Criminal Justice Connections newsletter for agency employees, local and state government officials, concerned individuals and interest groups. Readers are also able to access the agency newsletter on-line by clicking on "Connections." Other graphic projects included the 2004 Annual Review and the TDCJ Agency Directory.
The photography section produces portraits and other photographs for a variety of agency displays and publications. The photography section also manages the agency’s photo archive for distribution to various internal and external entities.
The webmaster coordinates with TDCJ divisions’ representatives to provide current information via the agency’s web site located at www.tdcj.texas.gov. The web site features an on-line job search by region and type of job, press releases from the Public Information Office and online scheduling for prospective employees.
Office of the General Counsel
The mission of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is to provide quality legal support and services to allow the agency to lawfully fulfill its public safety mission. The primary objective of the office is to add value, in the form of a legal perspective, to management decisions. To the greatest extent possible, and when consistent with its duty toward TDCJ, the OGC is also a legal resource for non-clients, such as members of the Legislature, Community Supervision and Corrections Departments, judges, prosecutors, other attorneys, media representatives, and members of the public. The OGC is divided into four sections: Legal Affairs, Litigation Support, Preventive Law, and Program Administration.
The Legal Affairs Section provides legal advice to agency management and staff on all aspects of the agency’s mission and operations. The Open Records Act team responds to a high volume of requests for records that might be confidential, including prisoner and parolee information. The employment team reviews EEO investigations, dismissals and administrative separations. Legal Affairs reviews all new and revised Personnel Directives and Administrative Directives and often contributes legal advice in the development of new directives or revisions. Legal Affairs has a high-volume transactional practice including contract negotiations and real estate sales. Legal Affairs also advises on a large number of subpoenas and expunctions.
The Litigation Support Section provides legal support in order to achieve the best possible litigation posture in TDCJ cases. Litigation Support evaluates every claim and lawsuit against the agency or its employees to determine the potential exposure or liability. In cases that present significant risk, an OGC attorney will monitor the litigation activities and assist the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in discovery, witness preparation, settlement negotiations, and mediation. State and federal courts and the OAG rely on Litigation Support to navigate within TDCJ and to gather evidence and witnesses relevant to the case.
The director of Preventive Law is responsible for a number of projects, including those designed to ensure compliance of the Safe Prisons Program and to ensure compliance with the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. The section also works to prevent and address offender suicide issues, and to ensure compliance with other constitutional mandates. Program Administration This section provides procedural systems and support so the OGC can fulfill its mission. Training and continuing education are provided to all personnel so client and employee satisfaction with OGC products and services remain strong.
Public Information Office
Whether it’s a question about the death penalty, the parole process, or the criminal background of an offender, all media inquiries about the Texas Department of Criminal Justice begin with the Public Information Office (PIO). PIO has offices in Austin and Huntsville, and also responds to media calls regarding the Texas Board of Criminal Justice and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.
The Texas criminal justice system with its rich history is often the focus of in-depth reports and documentaries as well as many timely or breaking news stories. PIO works with news media throughout the world to tell the TDCJ story as well as to assist reporters in covering the agency and its events. PIO also provides assistance to documentary and film producers, researchers, and book authors. During the past year, hundreds of news media calls were answered and information was provided to reporters from around the globe. These inquiries covered a variety of topics, from policies, procedures, and budget details, to information about individual offenders and prison programs. PIO also distributed news releases and media advisories on various events and activities of significance and public interest. In addition, the office keeps agency staff informed of media coverage daily by posting news clips to the TDCJ web site.
It is the philosophy of the agency to be as candid as possible with news media in order to inform the public of its activities. Information is given as allowed by agency policy and in accordance with current state public information laws. A PIO staff member is always on call to answer any media calls that come in after regular business hours.
While working to share information about many aspects of the criminal justice system, PIO also spends a significant amount of time answering questions about executions. PIO not only serves to dispel many myths about the prison system - and specifically death row, but also coordinates death row media interviews and serves as a media escort for each execution carried out in Texas.
The TDCJ Public Information Office is dedicated to responding to news media inquiries in a timely and accurate manner. By taking a proactive stance, the office is able to disseminate information about TDCJ’s many positive programs and successes to the media as a way of educating the public on how the agency fulfills its mission.
Research, Evaluation and Development Group
"I am honored to serve the state as an employee of TDCJ’s Research, Evaluation, and Development Group because I am part of a diverse team that advocates the objective analysis of our agency on a variety of levels. The information we gather enables TDCJ to make improvements from within and perpetuates it as a forerunner in the criminal justice arena."
Christine Kahikina Research Coordinator Research, Evaluation, and Development Group
The Research, Evaluation, and Development Group, commonly referred to as the RED Group, focuses on education, knowledge, and information to improve system operations. The RED Group manages its operations in concert with the agency’s executive administration.
The RED Group’s projects during Fiscal Year 2005 were both diverse and challenging, as reflected through three key functions:
- Oversaw the completion of 10 external research projects.
- Fifteen approved projects are in various active phases.
- A national study by the Urban Evaluation: Institute was recently completed in Texas, one of four states selected to examine the challenges of prisoner reentry.
- An abbreviated process evaluation of the Youthful selected to examine the challenges Offender Program was conducted to assess its program operations.
- A quantitative review of substance abuse programs identified the current system of treatment delivered to the offender population on probation, in prison, and on parole.
- One of the biggest challenges was the facilitation of the executive leadership team to design a Reentry Model for the criminal justice system to ensure a seamless system of programs and services for offenders.
- The Correctional Institutions Division received technical assistance to develop a Results-Driven Management system of accountability.
- Development of an operational strategic plan was facilitated with the Rehabilitation and Reentry Programs Division.
- An Offender Records project was initiated to assist in streamlining offender records management to reduce duplication of data and information.
John Munro, Media Services Director
David Nunnelee, Editor
Eva Gonzales, Graphic Designer
Jene Robbins, David Nunnelee - Photographers
Published by Texas Department of Criminal Justice