Tribpedia: Texas Department Of Criminal Justice

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 ...

Report: Blind, Deaf, Disabled Inmates Abused in Texas Prison Unit

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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.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is facing a scathing report and several lawsuits contending that correctional staff at a Huntsville prison regularly neglect, abuse and even violently beat prisoners with disabilities — with little to no consequences.

In 2004, Davontae Marcel Williams, on the left, was found starved to death. Lisa Ann Coleman, on the right, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday night for her role in the boy's death. If carried out, she would be the sixth woman to be executed in Texas since 1982.
In 2004, Davontae Marcel Williams, on the left, was found starved to death. Lisa Ann Coleman, on the right, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday night for her role in the boy's death. If carried out, she would be the sixth woman to be executed in Texas since 1982.

Woman Executed for Boy's 2004 Starvation Death

UPDATED: A 38-year-old Arlington woman was executed Wednesday for the starvation death of her girlfriend’s son. Lisa Ann Coleman is the sixth woman to be executed in the state since 1982.

Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede exits the Panola County Court building with his attorney Jodi Cole after his hearing on Feb. 5, 2014 in Carthage. A state district judge agreed to release Tiede in May, 17 years into his life sentence.
Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede exits the Panola County Court building with his attorney Jodi Cole after his hearing on Feb. 5, 2014 in Carthage. A state district judge agreed to release Tiede in May, 17 years into his life sentence.

"Bernie" Victim's Family Files Objection to His Release from Prison

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The family of the widow whose murder was the focus of the 2011 film "Bernie" objects to the court's decision to free the man who killed her, and wants the court to hear their case.

 

At the Hand Up, a halfway house in Houston, former inmates have more freedom to look for jobs than at state-chartered facilities, but few can afford the rent.
At the Hand Up, a halfway house in Houston, former inmates have more freedom to look for jobs than at state-chartered facilities, but few can afford the rent.

A Home for Former Inmates, Founded by a Former Inmate

A small fraction of the tens of thousands of inmates released in Texas each year find spots in state-contracted halfway houses. For many inmates, the private market is not an easy option either.

Inmates Roberto Bisco and Robbie Robinson undergo dialysis in the medical center of the Estelle Unit in Huntsville, Texas.
Inmates Roberto Bisco and Robbie Robinson undergo dialysis in the medical center of the Estelle Unit in Huntsville, Texas.

With More Inmates on Dialysis, Officials Deal With Rising Costs

A small but expensive and ever-growing group of Texas inmates requires dialysis. Fewer than 230 inmates who receive dialysis treatment account for about 3 percent of the entire prison system's pharmaceutical budget.

Correctional officer Mike Warren walks with his contraband detector dog, Gus, during a demonstration of how the dog seeks out cellphones around the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
Correctional officer Mike Warren walks with his contraband detector dog, Gus, during a demonstration of how the dog seeks out cellphones around the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

In Cellphone Contraband Cases, Few Face Charges

While confiscations of illicit cellphones in prisons have dropped, a Tribune investigation found that few inmates or correctional officers face legal consequences for smuggling the devices.

Major Michael Gruver in recreation area of Clements Unit (r) and a Guard tower near front gate of Clements Unit, Texas Department of Corrections (l).
Major Michael Gruver in recreation area of Clements Unit (r) and a Guard tower near front gate of Clements Unit, Texas Department of Corrections (l).

Perry: Federal Anti-Prison Rape Standards "Impossible" to Achieve

Gov. Rick Perry told federal officials he would not sign a form complying with regulations meant to prevent prison rape and assault. Prison reform advocates worry the decision could have financial and legal consequences.

Anthony Ormsbee places flowers with other volunteers at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery in Huntsville, Texas Monday Nov. 4, 2013 where a group placed roses on the more than 3000 headstones for All Souls Day.
Anthony Ormsbee places flowers with other volunteers at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery in Huntsville, Texas Monday Nov. 4, 2013 where a group placed roses on the more than 3000 headstones for All Souls Day.

Dignity in Burials for Prisoners and Families

Prisoner rights advocates often criticize the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, but experts agree that offender burials are one thing the state prison system does well, especially compared with other states. 

Major Michael Gruver in recreation area of Clements Unit (r) and a Guard tower near front gate of Clements Unit, Texas Department of Corrections (l).
Major Michael Gruver in recreation area of Clements Unit (r) and a Guard tower near front gate of Clements Unit, Texas Department of Corrections (l).

Violence Behind Bars and a Tie to Mental Illness

A Tribune analysis of violent-incident data in state prisons shows that far more violent incidents occur at facilities with large populations of mentally ill inmates.