Tribpedia: Texas Department Of Criminal Justice

Tribpedia

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is the state agency responsible for managing state prisons and jails and the oversight of more than 150,000 offenders. The agency also supervises offenders released from prison on parole.

The board is composed of nine members who are appointed by the governor to staggered, six-year terms. The governor also designates one member as ...

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An inmate sleeps in his cubicle in the geriatric unit of the Estelle Prison in Huntsville.
An inmate sleeps in his cubicle in the geriatric unit of the Estelle Prison in Huntsville.

Some Inmates Forego Health Care to Avoid Higher Fees

When lawmakers decided to charge inmates $100 a year for medical treatments, they expected it to help plug holes in the prison budget. But critics of the new policy say the result is less health care for sick inmates.

Texas Inmate Demands Kosher Food

Jewish prison inmate Max Moussazadeh is demanding that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice serve him kosher food. On Monday, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear his case.

A pharmacy technician loads pills into punch cards at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's pharmacy in Huntsville on Wed. Sept. 19, 2012.
A pharmacy technician loads pills into punch cards at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's pharmacy in Huntsville on Wed. Sept. 19, 2012.

Better Hepatitis Treatment Costly for Prisons

The cost to treat Texas inmates with hepatitis C is expected to soar by as much as 380 percent next year. Legislators, already facing a strained budget, will have to find millions more dollars to pay for this care.

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, chairman of the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, at a Sept. 4, 2012, hearing.
Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, chairman of the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, at a Sept. 4, 2012, hearing.

Lawmakers Revisit Approach to Solitary Confinement

As solitary confinement grows in the national spotlight, Texas lawmakers and advocates are concerned about the re-entry of prisoners held for years without much human contact. For many, it's a matter of public safety.

TDCJ Faces Ongoing Staffing Challenges

During the 1990s, many Texans believed prison construction would help boost the economies in rural areas. Today, ongoing staffing shortages in rural units are causing legislators and other officials to reconsider that assumption.

Probation Program Set for Trial Run in Texas

A program started in Hawaii that closely oversees criminal offenders' probation periods is starting a test run in Texas. The experiment, which is getting federal funds, will help determine how the program translates to the mainland.

Heated Arguments

Texas Weekly

While advocates worry particularly about heat conditions in a prison unit with recent water shortages, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering arguments in a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice alleging that the sweltering living quarters constitute cruel and unusual punishment. 

Interactive: Texas Wrongful Conviction Explorer

At least 86 Texans' convictions were overturned between 1989 and 2011, according to the National Registry of Exonerations. The Texas Tribune analyzed court rulings, media reports and pardon statements to determine the cases in which courts ruled that prosecutorial error contributed to a wrongful conviction. Use our interactive to learn more about each case.

Family Sues TDCJ Over Heat-Related Death

As summer temperatures rise, so do worries about conditions in state prisons. The Texas Civil Rights Project on Tuesday filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Texas prison officials on behalf of the family of an inmate who died last summer.

Sunset Advisory Commission members Sen. Nichols R-Jacksonville, Sen. Whitmire D-Houston and Sen. Patrick R-Houston during June 5th, 2012 meeting
Sunset Advisory Commission members Sen. Nichols R-Jacksonville, Sen. Whitmire D-Houston and Sen. Patrick R-Houston during June 5th, 2012 meeting

Sunset Commission: TDCJ Can Improve in Communication

The Sunset Advisory Commission found that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has room for improvement. The commission on Tuesday discussed accountability, budgetary efficiency, response to inmate grievances and communication.

Michael Morton stands in a Williamson County courtroom with his attorneys, John Raley of the Houston law firm Raley & Bowick, and Nina Morrison of the New York-based Innocence Project. Morton was officially exonerated Dec. 19, 2011 after spending nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder.
Michael Morton stands in a Williamson County courtroom with his attorneys, John Raley of the Houston law firm Raley & Bowick, and Nina Morrison of the New York-based Innocence Project. Morton was officially exonerated Dec. 19, 2011 after spending nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder.

Texas Among Top 3 States in Total Exonerations

Researchers at two law schools Monday released an unprecedented listing of all the exoneration cases from the last 23 years. Only two states had more exonerations than Texas, according to the report.