Thursday, June 03, 2010

TDCJ regional release facilities begin operation next week

Texas' prison system has announced the location of three new regional release facilities, according to this item in the Amarillo Globe-News ("Clements to free inmates," June 3), next week:
the William P. Clements Jr. Unit outside Amarillo and two other units begin serving as release points for inmates who have served their terms.

The other two designated release centers are in Abilene and Beeville. Clements will begin releasing inmates Wednesday.

This'll save on transportation costs, but the legislation authorizing the move would also have let TDCJ release inmates directly from the facility where they served their time, which would have generated even greater savings. The majority of Texas inmates are already released that way each year, reports the Globe-News: "Of the 72,218 people released last year, 32,600 were released in Huntsville. Of those not released in Huntsville, many were freed through drug treatment centers or other diversionary programs."

If TDCJ is providing significant additional reentry assistance at regional release centers, that would be one thing. But if they're just replicating what's already done in Huntsville then the agency may still be leaving money on the table by not releasing inmates where they're housed.

Not all prisoners will be eligible for regional release: "Those who suffer from serious mental or medical conditions, are sex offenders or anyone deemed a security threat such as gang members will continue to be released in Huntsville."


Jennie said...

Does that mean that Huntsville like gang members? How stupid is that. Since most gang members are in Ad Seg for years and don't get parole only full sentences, it just makes so much sense to release them there. What are they thinking? People who serve their complete sentence do not have to go to a parole office. Again still waisting money.

Anonymous said...

of all the experiences of having a loved one serving time...release
is on the short list of the most achingly poignant...and not in the way you would think. Seeing approximately 100 men released at the Walls one April morning, and being part of less than 10 families there to meet their loved one...THANK God for the humanity of Regional release. I will never believe that "someone" wouldn't have greeted most of these men had distance not been a factor.

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