Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Whitmire: Latest escape shows TDCJ needs 'shakeup' over contraband

After spending the last year trying to get the Texas prison system to reduce contraband flows, I'll bet state Sen. John Whitmire's head nearly exploded when he learned of yesterday's escape using a gun smuggled to an inmate. In an article by Peggy O'Hare in the Houston Chronicle, he openly called for Governor Perry to replace the board and top administrators at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice:

After facing serious questions about how 900 prohibited cell phones were smuggled into Texas prisons this year along with drugs and weapons, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice found itself on the defensive again Tuesday while trying to find an inmate who escaped despite being shackled to a wheelchair.

TDCJ officials could answer few questions Tuesday about how convicted rapist Arcade Joseph Comeaux Jr., 49, managed to pull off a daring escape Monday from a prison van in Baytown after pulling a gun and handcuffing two transport officers driving him to another prison, stealing their three guns and walking away. Nor could prison officials explain how Comeaux obtained the gun he pulled on the officers or how he convinced medical personnel he needed a wheelchair for the past decade.

The chairman of the Senate corrections committee said the latest incident shows Gov. Rick Perry needs to shake up the state prison system and its oversight board.

Corrections Committee Chairman Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, received a threat a year ago from a death row inmate using a smuggled cell phone. Whitmire said Perry and the TDCJ cracked down on contraband shortly after that. But Monday's escape shows the system has again become lax, Whitmire said.

“Maybe it's time, with top state leadership, to consider a major shakeup in TDCJ,” Whitmire said. “It's time for the governor to take what should be the next step in making certain the chairman and TDCJ and his director and staff understand what zero tolerance really means.”

MORE: From The Back Gate.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Comeaux "...convinced medical personnel he needed a wheelchair for the past decade."???!!!

My god. It is difficult not to marvel at, and really admire, that kind of motivation and dedication. I don't really like it, any more than I like a coiled rattlesnake at my feet, but it is remarkable. He undoubtedly did not walk away and go to the local 7-11 for a sandwich and softdrink. Someone had to be waiting for him and he is long gone by now.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to imagine that TDCJ is not "tough enough" on offenders with alleged medical problems. If someone is so determined to fake the need for a wheelchair for 10 years, how is shaking up the top leadership going to help?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:21.

It ain't the wheelchair, its the gun that indicates the need for a shakeup at high levels.

Faceless Man said...

This was not only a failure by security but also by medical staff who should have known that he was faking. The shakeup is needed because whatever measures were taken over the last several months have failed to work. As the saying goes, "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing."

Anonymous said...

UTMB beleaves everything a convict tells them.

Anonymous said...

That's Whitmire's answer to everything - "I want heads to roll, do you hear me? I want heads to roll!" It sure worked wonders for TYC! Maybe he can bring in an expert from Maryland to improve TDCJ...

Boyness said...

“Maybe it's time, with top state leadership, to consider a major shakeup in TDCJ,” Whitmire said.
--------------------------------

Do ya think? Really? Where in the hell do we find these people who represent us? The time for Livingston (TDCJ Exec Dir) to go was long, long ago. This bean counting, political hack of Governor Wig NEVER should have been put in charge in the first place.

You get what you pay for Texas? Had enough of Livingston? Had enough of Perry?

Anonymous said...

How dare we villify criminals.

Anonymous said...

Gangland senator Whitmire is calling for "a major shakeup in TDCJ." What about a shakeup in gangland?

Anonymous said...

"I'll bet state Sen. John Whitmire's head nearly exploded when he learned of yesterday's escape using a gun smuggled to an inmate."

His head already exploded. His gray matter is all over the state. There's no new wrinkles in that gray matter. No leadership from the "Chair" or the "Dean" of the Senate.

Change begins at the top. Cell phones keep coming through, and despite Whitmires tirade, it keeps happening. Now this. Change is needed, starting with this Chairman.

Anonymous said...

amen

Anonymous said...

"I do not want to hear any criticism of UTMB. UT is a fine institution, and I will not sit here and listen to criticism of UT. Do you understand that?" Chm. Whitmire 2007

Anonymous said...

The Texas prison system is Whitmire's legacy.

TJDO

RAS said...

Whitmire wants juvenile felons treated like cub scouts but is shocked when they improve to the point they get wheelchairs they shouldn't have and a gun from? Perhaps Pope is still available to straighten out TDCJ, how is there office refurbishment budget?

yvette99 said...

I say throw Whitmire and Perry in TDCJ Texas will be far better off minus these two! One is just a annoying whinging Mary-ann the other just wants to keep everything behind closed doors so the perfect place for him, he can keep everything behind closed doors better still put these two in the same cell! Lol I so wish.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:07 UTMB is a good place,but the people that work in the prison's do not have a clue.
Example Convect go's to the gym for rec. on crutches, then he places his crutches against the wall and runs up and down the basketball court.We take the crutches and give them to UTMB and they say he needs them.

TDCJ EX said...

Whitemire can call for shake ups all he wants . He has in the past and not much if any thing was done by TDCJ or BPP . Livingston will not go any where until Goodhair is gone That is up to the voters in TX to decide .

For what ever reason contraband still gets into TDCJ units The bosses ,rank blamed administration visitors .So now visitors get searched TDCJ has stopped searching bosses and rank on most units .Yet any one ho has done time on a TDCJ unit will tell you most contraband gets in via dirty bosses and rank. Who make a lot of extra money doing so .

Until TDCJ admits it has a serious problem ad the idea of locking up 150,000 + people is just not possible see CA as another example There will be serious problems. This problem has little to do with pay . It has to do with the type of person who becomes a boss and creating entire towns that have come to depend on TDCJ for it prime source of employment and economic base . As there is a blue wall of silence with cops , there is as gray wall of silence with TDCJ bosses . How often are bosses and rank prosecuted and sentenced to TDCJ?

As Stanley Milgram said after his Stanford Experiment (Google it ) it isn ot one or two bad apples it is the whole barrel that causes all the apples to become rotten

The latest escape was clearly well planed and would have happened with out help from dirty bosses and or rank. That is the only way a fire arm will be placed on a chain van or bus .Period no ifs and or buts about it. Bosses and rank are the only ones who have both access to firearms and chain vehicles in TDCJ. The child raping escapee is probably well on his way to a south American nation that does not extradite to the US .No thanks to dirty bosses or rank .

FWIW TDCJ is very harsh if any one thinks differnt commit one of the 2300 + felonies in TX and find out for yourself

Anonymous said...

5:30 TELLIN IT LIKE IT IS REALLY IS! THANK YOU

Anonymous said...

I think most people who are commenting here do not know the first thing about TDCJ. I doubt that many of the ones of you who talk about things know much more than the bad things that make the news. As far as the ones of you who think all of the officers and rank are responsible, think of how officers and rank risk there life on a daily basis at work doing everything in their power to protect society from the scum that is in TDCJ. Telling from personal experience, getting your life threatened on a daily basis, and being scared every time you have to give an inmate what they are entitled to by law, is terrifying. Officers do not make enough money! You make under $2000 a month after taxes are taken out until you have been there for a couple of years. Do you think that it is worth having to let these criminals threaten and try to hurt you for that amount? I say that officers should make more money. I guess I do have the choice to change jobs, but where can you find a job with good benefits and decent pay these days? And another thing, the one of you who said that comment about one rotten apple makes the whole bucket bad or whatever it was, you are wrong! There are many of us in TDCJ who still believe that we are babysitting the scum of our society and would never give them more than they are entitled to, no matter what they offer! There is no amount of money that would ever get me to take anything to one of the pathetic criminals in TDCJ. There are still good people working in the system, those few bad are being weeded out as they are being caught. It is not as easy to catch them as people think. I wish personally that there was an easier way to catch them because they put my life in more danger every day I go to work.

TDCJEX said...

Anon Boss 11:24

Obviously you are or want to be a TDCJ boss . Your rant is the same old tiresome nonsense Bosses and rank have been spouting for many years. . If you do not like your job and or pay get a a new onelieke every one else does . Your attitude of all people doing time are scum and should therfore be abused is troubleing do you realy think a person who has been abused for years will come out of that institution a sane safe person . Or do you do your job so you can abuse humans with impunity ? People are sent to prison as punshment not to be punished by thugs in grey .Who usualy are far wrose than those they are suposed to be guarding'

The words “Correctional Officer” should never have been used .There is not any correcting or rehablitaitng going on in any TDCJ unit period

If you are a boss and being threatened every day that tells me you are one of the bosses or rank who abuses prisoners. Those few who are professional and respectful do not usually get get threatened or assaulted except by the very psychologically messed up prisoners

What I said was not one bad apple or a few but this along the lines of this

It is not a few bad apples but the whole barrel that corrupts all the apples . To make it simple TDCJ it and what it is causes the corruption and attracts individuals prone to abusing others and corruption
See Philip Zimbardo's Stanford experiment


http://www.prisonexp.org/


As for this escape the only possible way it happened was with the help of a number of dirty bosses and probably rank . There is only one way a fire arm got onto a chain van That is via bosses and rank . Whitmire can call for all the shakeups he wants until Goodhair is gone , TDCJ is reduced to a realistic manageable size and TX stops doling out extreme sentences and gets rid of it corrupt judges , cops, and prosecutors their will be problems like this and the Tabler incident .

“Tuff on Crime” is in reality tough on everyone's wallets. eventually As the lawsuits pile up (how many Ruiz and Cruz like suits does TX need to get it right ?) and cost billions TX might learn their “cheap”prison system is not so cheap . Try being smart on crime . Instead of pandering to reactionary right wing special interest groups .They are different than being what conservative really is.
TDCJ should not be a jobs program for those who cannot be employed in the private sector beyond burger flipper or used to build a poetical base that depends on TDCJ for it's economic life .

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:24 - you sound like some of the pathetic scum who leave TDCJ employment and come to TYC. Don't know anything besides intimidation, no desire to help the kids learn, no desire to do the job you are paid for - it is the likes of you that have come over to TYC to wreak your havoc. If you don't like corrections work, and the big boys are too scary for you, please don't come to TYC in the hopes that the kids will be easier to intimidate. Go flip some burgers.

Boyness said...

Anonymous said...

I think most people who are commenting here do not know the first thing about TDCJ. I doubt that many of the ones of you who talk about things know much more than the bad things that make the news.
---------------------------------
What exactly do we HAVE to know about TDCJ to comment on it? Perhaps you, as an "insider" can explain to the rest of us how thousands of cell phones are still getting in as contraband. Maybe you can share your expertise and explain how a child-raping lifer gets a gun and disarms two transport officers and then disappears into the fucking woods?

I am sick and tired of TDCJ excuses so just do all of us a favor and SHUT UP. I am not hearing anymore nonsense about how, why, where and how come this is the most insecure prison system in the country.

Enjoy your remaining days under Wig and Livingston because after the Governors election, you can damn well bet that heads will ROLL and TDCJ's reign of terror will be over.

NEXT!

Boyness said...

Anonymous said...

I think most people who are commenting here do not know the first thing about TDCJ. I doubt that many of the ones of you who talk about things know much more than the bad things that make the news.
---------------------------------
What exactly do we HAVE to know about TDCJ to comment on it? Perhaps you, as an "insider" can explain to the rest of us how thousands of cell phones are still getting in as contraband. Maybe you can share your expertise and explain how a child-raping lifer gets a gun and disarms two transport officers and then disappears into the fucking woods?

I am sick and tired of TDCJ excuses so just do all of us a favor and SHUT UP. I am not hearing anymore nonsense about how, why, where and how come this is the most insecure prison system in the country.

Enjoy your remaining days under Wig and Livingston because after the Governors election, you can damn well bet that heads will ROLL and TDCJ's reign of terror will be over.

NEXT!

TDCJ EX said...

Boyness . Idid time on Polunsky !Iithink I know about TDCJ.
Bosses andrank just want thier pat raiseandto contimue bussiness as they have been theyarereverting to theold TDC very rapidly if they ever realy changed .

The same abuse we and the world got out raged over Gitmo and Abu Garib . TDCJ is all that and worse similar to Nazi concentration salve / Death chmabers of horror practioces go on in TDCJ as routine poilcy with zero out rage. Wel after GWB and Goodhair no surpse asbothar good nazis/facists .

Those who want to be bosses and rank are drawn to TDCJ so they can act on sick sadsitic fansties with impunity .Thaatiswhy they work forTDCJ

Most TDCJ bosses and rank would have swung from the gallows after Nuremburg ! They do the exact same things in many ways . Perhaps that is where they got thier lessons from

Time for a full scale investigation and bring the feds back in this time to send the criminals to a real federal pen not camp cupcake . They will get a hell of a welcome as well earend one at that . Send The ALL the "JFA: and comapny Neo Nazis with them too if possible

FairPlay said...

"I am sick and tired of TDCJ excuses so just do all of us a favor and SHUT UP. I am not hearing anymore nonsense about how, why, where and how come this is the most insecure prison system in the country."

Boyness:

One thing to keep in mind is that almost every other state is having the same problems with contraband being brought into their prison units. Believe me Texas is nowhere being the most insecure system in the country.

There are many dedicated employees who work for TDCJ and many of the guards have degrees. It is ashame that the dedicated employees have to work with employees that violate the law by bringing in contrband. Apparently there are many bad apples with the amount of contraband that is being reported. But you can not blame the dedicated employees for tyring to defend the Agency here on the board.

I for one definately wish we could immediately find the solution to the contraband problem. The only solution I see is to forbid any employee from bringing in any item that is not part of the uniform onto a unit. Additionally, I think that the Agency should suspend any outside visitor from entering into any unit until the problem is brought under control. I think these steps will have to be taken if any progress is going to be made in this area.

In order to keep the units adequately staffed some very ignorant individuals are being hired by the Agency. It is ashame that there is not a better applicant pool to pick from. It would not matter if the pay was raised 20,000 a year. There is only a certian type of individual who is going to want to be a guard. I can assure you that it is not a glamorous job.

Boyness said...

Believe me Texas is nowhere being the most insecure system in the country.
----------------------------------
Well, just curious. Can you provide some statistics? How many of the other 49 states have lost a lifer out of a van who disarmed two of there officers? Makes me feel real safe and SECURE here in Houston.

Save it...sorry...not buying it. Sure there may be staff who do there jobs, that's true anywhere, but we have FAR MORE than our share of bad apples and it's got to stop.

FairPlay said...

Boyness,

I do not keep up with the latest statistics from state to state, but in the past I have reviewed the circumstances of many nationwide escapes for a Criminal Justice graduate student I was assisting.

Based upon our review it was evident that most escapes occurred during vehicle transports and/or escorts off prison facilities. There were several instances in which guards were disarmed in the process.

I currently work for TDCJ and I am waiting to review the findings of this current escape. Right now it is not evident as to where the offender obtained the weapon and ammunition that was used in this escape. I am sure the findings are going to be very interesting.

Based upon the information that I have reviewed so far, I would have hard time believing that the transport officers were accomplices in this offender's escape. And it is a possibility that the wepon was not introduced into the unit by any Agency employee. However if this was the case, I hope the Agency's investigation into the matter reveals who was responsible.

I wish it was clear cut answer who should be held accountable for contraband that is being introduced into our correctional facilities.

I can see that Senator Whitmire would like to see a change in the upper administration in TDCJ; however, if the legislature does not approve of a systematic plan to address the issue of contraband, little progress is going to be made.

I for one believe that the legislature needs to go ahead and approve a year-long lockdown of the entire system. As far as I can see, this would be the most prudent measure to take to address the contraband issue.

TDCJEX said...

Fair play you are simply defending bosses and rank as if they never ever do any thing wrong and are never to blame for what are very serious breaches of security .in TDCJ .The only realistic way this escape happened was with the help of a number of dirty bosses and rank. The vast majority convicts certainly will not help a child molester .

Let me explain how a prisoner is usually transported on chain vehicles . Usually early in the morning around 3am or so a boss will come to you in your cell or cubicle and say pack your shit . your going on chain . Depending on what type of chain your stuff is either stored or you are allowed certain amount usually one commissary bag to keep . Your stuff is then searched by a boss . Labeled and put in the appropriate place, storage or on the chain bus , van or on rare occasion car out of any prisoners contact
The prisoner is then told to strip out , meaning take all your cloths off and given to boss to be searched .

The prisoner is then strip searched the whole deal open your mouth run your hands though your hair , squat and spread em , to be nice about it , wiggle your toes and fingers

The prisoner is then given his or her cloths told to dress an then the are cuffed and ankle shackled . This is done with the prisoner facing a wall and then kneeling down on a bench to have their ankles shackled . On occasion chains are warped around their torso as this child molester was . He should have had a Banshee (SP?) a device activated remotely by a chain boss that acts like a taser on him as well due to his violent nature His wheelchair a very basic one should have been searched and he placed in to it by bosses. After being put in restraints

Rank usually a LT or CPT over sees all this The bosses transporting prisoners are not new hires but a “co” 4 or 5

The only people who could have realistic given him a firearm are bosses. They bring in a 90 some odd percent of all contraband on by my estimate . Why was he able while in restraints to get at afire arm , shoot it , tell two armed bosses to pullover,drop their weapons remove his restraints and then take both . 40 handguns and a12 gauge with some .00 buckshot that TDCJ uses ?All good luck and chance on his part ? At any rate this child molester is more than likely long gone and probably will not be caught due to corrupt TDCJ bosses and rank. Who put money or maybe something much more sinister over public safety. A man like this child molester that is truly dangerous he has nothing to lose at all . When ex cons and convicts doing time want him caught ASAP you know he is very dangerous. They to have children and do not want this predatory child molester any where near their kids


A year long lock down is A)unconstitutional as cruel and unusual B) will lead to expensive lawsuits , C) cause riots on every unit. D) will not work .

It impractical any ways because TDCJ depend son convicts for nearly all labor but mail room , boss/rank and medical on the units . But it does speak volumes of the attitude of those who become bosses and their disregard for any human being .


The idea of TDCJ investigating itself is a joke they almost always blame every one but the responsible party .
.

Whitmire can ask for shake ups and investigations a ll he wants . Until the culture of corruption and abuse of prisoners in TDCJ is gone . This stuff will continue .

Bosses and rank are no longer searched on entering and leaving (yes contraband goes out ) and leaving Then having bosses search bosses is just stupid all they have to do is know when their corrupt buddy on the other shift is searching but visitors and and vendors are ? That right there tell you where contraband is coming from . And don't say they toss it over the fence , go try stopping near the fence of a TDCJ unit and get out of your vehicle see how fast a lot of TDCJ and other cops surround you .

FairPlay said...

"Fair play you are simply defending bosses and rank as if they never ever do any thing wrong and are never to blame for what are very serious breaches of security in TDCJ. The only realistic way this escape happened was with the help of a number of dirty bosses and rank."

I am not defending anybody at this time. I have learned as an investigator that it best not to make any hard core determinations until you have sufficent facts. I have learned this through the past 10 years as an investigator for TDCJ.

I am more than aware that our Agency employees violate rules and policies, and at times, create serious breaches in security. And I am a firm believer that some of these individuals need to be dealt with very harshly. I for one would like to see more of our employees prosecuted when breaking the laws pretaining to contraband.

There could have only been one individual responsible for provding Comeaux with the weapon or it could have been twenty.
However, your claim that the only way the escape happened was with the help of "a number" of both "dirty bosses and rank" lacks any merit at this time.

"If an investigation is not based upon facts, it is just a bunch a guess work."

TDCJ EX said...

Yes I suppoes he just conjured the gun up . The only people who could have both provied the fire arm and allowed it onto a chain van are bosses and rank period.

Knowing TDCJ chain proceadure leads me to conculde that a number of bosses and rank are invloved . Vistores and vendors get no where near where convicts are put on chain and he andhis belongings should have been seached not once but twice same goes for his wheelchair .

Imagine if it was a chain bus with lots of convicts who want nothjng to do with him and bosses doing thier job corectly . In such a event someone wil get hurt or kiled TDCJ has one hell of a lawsuit on it's hands

Rank oversees all chain so he or she shouldhave been aware something was not right .


How did he manage with out help to get out of allhisrestansget afire arm andshoot it ,by magic . No a vistor of course wss in the chain van ! (Sarcasm)


I agree TDCJ bosses and rank need cto do TDCJ in population and see how much contraband gets in.
But that is never going to happen TDCJ will blame and vendors as usual

Iam just explaining how convicts are put on chain and that the only realistic way this happend was more than one boss and or rank involved .

Just like the Cell phones on Death Row the only way they get them is rank or bosses.

If TDCJ was honest about it in the end it would be better for every one .Convicts bossesrank admistration and very one in the freeworld. Thosewho havelovedonesinTDCJhave been inTDCJare not stupideventually TDCJ isgoingto havetoadmit ithasavery seriousporbem with it bosses and rank .

The p[orbem isbosesandrankaretreateddiferntly when they do things such as bring drugs in. They if on a bad day get walked off . If it were a vistor or convict they woildbelookingat a very long sentance.

This double standard and hypocrisy
iswhat cuses even more distrusta of TDCJ bossesand rank. It also makes most of the contraband possible .


Maybe reform would begin at TDCJ and BPP . If people know what goes on in a TDCJ Unit and how they genrally are operated.

The bottom line in this escape is that the only logical andrealistic way he got a gun and was abel to get out of multiple retaints is more than one dirty boss and rank

Besides I am not a TDCJ OIG invesatigator ,So I get ot express my opion as some one who knows about TDCJ procedure . Maybe what I say is all too true . TDCJ bosses and rank protest too much once again.

His escape was all to easy ! No one hurt and he just walks away !. This leads me to belive anumber of rank and bosses were invloved.

Makng excuses for dirty bossesandrank and not locking them up for avery long time has a lot of serious publci safty issues and it isnot just about a convict getting something he should not have.

Dirty bossesandranklput nevery one at risk Thier
coworkers, convicts support staff and the gernal public .

They should do a very long time becuse they should be held to a higher standard ,becuase of the trust placed in them . Not the other way around

sunray's wench said...

Having visited a TDCJ unit this past weekend, I have to say that the majority of TDCJ staff take little or no pride in their appearance, which leads me to assume they take little or no pride in the rest of their job. Granted, many of these TDCJ staff may only work weekends in the visitation rooms, but they are still the public face of the agency, and I would have thought that with Texas being such a proud state in every other aspect, a little pride in having a good corrections agency wouldn't be too hard to summon up.

What concerns me most is the knee-jerk reactions that often come when things like this happen. Because something has to be seen to be done, the authorities go for the most obvious and public response, when often it is more a change in attitutde or policy that is needed based on real research and informed knowledge.

UTMB staff are not corrections officers. Corrections officers are not medical staff. Perhaps a little more communication is needed?

TDCJEX said...

Sunray , UTMB and TDCJ are supposed to communiucate with each other regarding convicts andthier medical needs and or restictions . I can assure you Hopsital Galveston is not some sort of recreational center for convicts .

How he managed to for ten years have both UTMB and TDCJ believing he needed a wheelchair with out some one knowing he did not is very hard to belive .Knowing how TDCJ units are suposed to operate.

I know UMTB will often say the convict is faking it or if it is a psycholigical issue call it "malingering" . Despite the convict being in a psychotic state and huallcinating . Ihave seen a guy with paraniod delusions sent back with some sort of mild sedative ! He realy belived his hallcinations and delusions .

Thankfullky for him a boss who for some reason relized he was severly psychotic got rankand medical to have him moved to Skyview wher he got much better help and housing for his condtion.
The sad thing is had he recived psychaitic treatment priorto his crime , he might nver ha ended up in TDCJ the new TX psychtric care agency

I also agree I have seen many bosses and rank look asif they do not care about themselves.

Taking pridein howyou appear andthe image you prsent tothe piublic is avery big deal .
If say employee in many private sector fieldsweretoact anddresslikeTDCJrank and bossesthey wouldbe spoken ot andif that didn to change thier attitude fired .

How you look and carry yourself does matter. If every one dress andact as if theyb do not care and hassofing what attitude It will eventually show in thier work .

All TDCJ employees are the public face of TDCJ. I have had very postive experince with empoyees on afew Unints as a free world perons and not a convict . That went alng ways and it helped every one !Imagine that !

I have taken the time to make sure those empoyees were recognized at least at the unit level for their efforts to make my dealing with TDCJ a postive expernce instead of a negative one . Their help and assitance went along ways !

When a incdinet such as this escape happens TDCJ must look at bosses and rank frist as the ones who facilitated it for what ever reason .

Thankfully he was cuaght with out incedent .

sunray's wench said...

TDCJEX said: "UTMB and TDCJ are supposed to communiucate with each other regarding convicts andthier medical needs and or restictions . I can assure you Hopsital Galveston is not some sort of recreational center for convicts ."


You and I both know that what is supposed to happen does not always happen, and in TDCJ, rarely happens. Inmates are supposed to be strip-searched when they come and go from visitation, yet few are properly strip searched at all.

My husband spent some time at Hospital Galveston a couple of years ago. The surgery he had was great, the "care" not quite so great, and the shuffling around by TDCJ in order to get the surgery done in the first place was simply incompetent.

TDCJ EX said...

Sunray all too true . When things such as this escape go wrong , visto5rsin particular arebalmedby TDCJ. He was cuaght and claimed a nurse smuggled the gun into him.
Not that I believe him .

He was in seg so bosses should havebeenshaking hiscelldoen as well as searching his very basic wheelchair. Bossesaresupposedto do routine searches of cells abnd cublciles . aswell asany area a prisoner has acess too .

Whneaconvict goesonchainthey usualy are stiped searched twice and allthe property the take with them is also supposed to be seached twice . Rank is supposed to make sure it is done .

No matter who gave him the gun procedure was not followed . Any one who was involved be it not doing thier job or being in onsomesort of plan is responsble to some degree and should face felony criminal sanctions

Bosses whine endlessly for a pay raise yet they do nothing to show they deserve it . A big frist step is to break the grey wall of silnce and trun in drity bosses and rank . That is very unlikely to happen

They could also start treating prisoners like human beings . but tat is eevn less likely to happen.

Despite thge fact that abusive , dirty rank and bosses are the biggest danger in any prison to every one .

Once a boss or rank is known to be dirty he or she is "owend " by convicts intent on bringing in contraband and violating other rules. But no one seems to get that but ex convicts .

UTMB could have told TDCJ many things it is up to TDCJ to follow through .

Whitemire is right that heads should roll but they will not .

Anonymous said...

How about this, maybe it's time they stopped passing so many felony laws, and start culling many of the ones written to protect special interests. The oyster laws ring true, as well as several others that protect industry with felony convictions. Less Felony laws, fewer inmates to lock up, better controls for the fewer numbers, more officers per head count.. it is total win for all. The 800 pound gorilla in the room though, is getting the lege to admit their business protection practices are what created the mess to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we need to look at this from an outside the box point of view. This offender was dangerous and was not capable of being rehabilited so why did the people of Texas allow him to still be breathing. He had raped children and assualted his wife when she visited him in prison. He is a drain on society and a waste of human genetic material. I disagree with the man who said that a society will be judge on how they treat their criminals. I feel we will be judge on how well we protect the law abiding citizens of our society.

Anonymous said...

First, TDCJ need to stop hiring their top officials from within an agency that has the good ole boy system going strong. It's the same ole thing every time they promote.

Let start by hiring someone with experience from another state, someone that can come in and tear the system apart, someone that leads by example and not just the word of mouth policy that we hear from every director that we have had in the past years. Don't tell us the policies, then when one of your buddies gets in trouble just move them to another position within the agency.

It's time to take action, and not the same action that we have had to put up with in the last 15 years! We, the State of Texas, and the citizens deserve a lot better than what we currently have.

Anonymous said...

Although a substantial amount of time has passed since the escape, I was readin through some of the comments, and trying to relate to both the point of views of the "public" and the "bosses". I was a "Correctional officer" for 2 years. I was actually employed at the estelle unit, which is where the escapee escaped from. There a are a couple points I would like to make...

1) Contraband DOES find its way into a prison prodominantly by the "bosses". Hands down, no questions asked. There are other ways, for example, visitors. But that is far less common. The amount of time I spent behind bars, I was propositioned too many times to count. I was asked to bring everything from one cigerette to any amount of drugs I could find. I never gave into the temptation of actually doing so. I had a motto: Give them what they're entitled to, but nothing more. I speak for myself when I say, It was my job to do what the book said, but nothing more. I also can say that I never knew any fellow bosses who did, but then again, I distanced myself from others, only because I chose not to get caught up in the world. I wasn't there to make friends. I was there to collect my well-earned paycheck. Contraband is everywhere. In one shake-down a Leuitenant, and Myself found two coffee bags full of crystal meth, street valued at about 6,000 each. Prison value, about $18,000 ea. The point im making is this: A boss can deny it until theyre blue in the face, but we all know, the employees are the main entrance for contraband. All motivated by money.

Point 2) Someone stated in a comment before that there are still many good employees. I 100% agree. The reason is because, I was one. There was no price they could offer to put my, my family, or my life in danger. Once they have you, they have you for good. They will take everything from you. I know there are some other people just like that. There is no amount of money I could be offered to be turned. And contrary to popular opinion, after an inmate decides they cant turn you, they will eventually leave you alone.

Point 3) Correctional Officers are under-paid and over-worked and I dont give a crap what anybody says. People can say all they want about how of you dont like your job to find a new one, well some of you dont live in places like Huntsville or Trinity, or Crockett. Places where the highest possible paying job outside of TDCJ is brookshire brothers. Or places like Huntsville where students are just trying to make a living. And go to school. Unless you have either been in prison, or worked in one, you have no right to critisize the people who do. No, not everyone knows what theyre doig when working there, but they learn. The requirements are not very tedious. You have to be 18, and have a HS diploma, or GED. If you can count to 30, and walk, you can be hired. So dont blame us, blame your state for hiring knieve children to do a job, that grown men shouldn't have to do.

Point 4) The escape was most likely an inside job. But no one knows to what extent the person who helped was involved in. No one knows if that person or people were held at gunpoint and required to do as they were told. Or how about the fact that inmates have nothing but time to figure out how to create such things as guns. Yes, Guns! All they have is time. The gun could have been a project, and created inside a cell. Then used to gain freedom. No one knows. SO who are you to judge anyone. Especially the people who risk theyre lives everyday to babysit your rapist uncle, or murderer father, or child predator who is also your father. And FYI, we are fare warned of what to expect, before we walk in a Unit, but in no way are we prepared. If it was so easy everyone would do it. So while you sit there in your business suit, just remember that someone has to do a job that you probably dont have the balls to do yourself.

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