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Angels from Alto deliver Goodman Unit
employees home

Lorimer standing in front of sign for the Glen Ray Goodman facility
Senior Warden Dirk Lorimer and employees of the Goodman Transfer Facility in Jasper were visited by three “angels” who delivered some much-needed gasoline to the facility in the wake of Hurricane Rita.
Photo by David Nunnelee
In the wake of Hurricane Rita, three employees at the Goodman Transfer Facility in Jasper were blessed by three “angels” from Alto.

The three angels were brothers, Ralph, Gary, and Randy Reaves, who drove through debris to the hurricane stricken area immediately after the storm passed to do what they could for victims. Goodman Senior Warden Dirk Lorimer happened on them at the local police station where they had gone to identify people in need. With them they carried 15 gallons of gasoline and asked Lorimer if he knew of anyone who could use it.

“I said, ‘I sure do. I’ve got people at the unit who can’t get home because they have no gas,’” Lorimer said.

Lorimer and the three brothers drove back to the unit and gathered all of those in need of gas. But because the supply was limited, the employees elected to pick the three among them that most needed to leave the unit to check on their properties and loved ones. Each was given five gallons of the precious fuel for the trip home.

Later, the brothers sent diapers to the unit to dispense to employees with small children.

“They said they just wanted to help,” Lorimer said about the Good Samaritans. “They were angels.”


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Fourth Annual Polunsky Award

Allan B. Polunsky handing Patricia Young her award.
Correctional officer Patricia Young was presented the Fourth Annual Polunsky Unit Award in November. With nearly 15 years of experience, Young, the unit's property officer, was nominated for the award based on her devotion and work ethic and willingness to perform various duties. Former Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Allan B. Polunsky made the award presentation before Young's colleagues. As part of the award, Young received two roundtrip airline tickets from Polunsky and $500 in expense money.
Photo by David Nunnelee


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AIDS Awareness red ribbonFacts about HIV, AIDS and
hepatitis outlined

Prepared by The Department of Education & Professional Development, UTMB – Correctional Managed Care

The Texas Legislature passed a law (Chapter 81, Subchapter H or the Health and Safety Code) requiring state agencies, including TDCJ and UTMB, to comply with the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations on bloodborne pathogens. This article is intended to provide assistance in this training required by OSHA.

HIV / AIDS

HIV - Human Immunodeficiency Virus – is a virus that kills your body’s “CD4 cells.” These CD4 cells help your body fight off infection and disease. AIDS - Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome – is a disease that develops when HIV destroys your body’s immune system. Your body’s immune system normally helps you fight off illness, but when your immune system fails, you can become very sick and even die. Anyone can get HIV. HIV is most commonly spread:

  • By having unprotected (without a condom) anal, oral, or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV. The virus can be in an infected person’s blood, semen, or vaginal secretions and can enter your body through tiny cuts or sores in your skin, or in the lining of the vagina, penis, rectum, or mouth.
  • By sharing needles or syringes to inject drugs or sharing drug equipment used to prepare drugs for injection with someone who has HIV.
  • By sharing items that may contain blood of an infected person such as a razor or toothbrush.
  • From a blood transfusion or clotting factor received before 1985.
  • From HIV infected mothers to their babies during pregnancy, birth, or through breast milk.

Doing any of these unsafe practices is called a risk factor. Having sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) such as syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydia, or gonorrhea can make it easier for a person to get HIV during sex with infected partners.

Many people have no symptoms when they first become infected with HIV, but others may have flu-like symptoms within one or two months after exposure to the virus. More serious symptoms may not appear for 10 years or more after HIV first enters the body. Symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, and enlarged lymph glands in the neck and groin.

The term AIDS applies to the most advanced stages of HIV infection. Some symptoms of the infections common to people with AIDS include coughing, shortness of breath, seizures, severe headache, severe diarrhea, vision loss, nausea, cramps, vomiting, extreme fatigue, or coma.

YOU CANNOT GET HIV:

  • By being around or working with someone who has HIV.
  • From sweat, tears, saliva, urine, feces, drinking fountains, or toilet seats.
  • From insect bites or stings.

HEPATITIS

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that may cause permanent liver damage, liver failure, or liver cancer. Many people with hepatitis B or C do not have early symptoms, but can still develop liver failure. Some symptoms of hepatitis include dark urine, clay-colored stools, or yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes. There are many types of hepatitis. The most common types in TDCJ are hepatitis B and hepatitis C. These are virus infections that can be transmitted in the same ways that HIV is transmitted.

A person who has been exposed to the HIV virus should get an HIV test within 6 weeks to 12 months after exposure. A person with any risk factors for hepatitis should be tested at least once and periodically after that if they continue to practice unsafe behaviors.

DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT

A doctor can usually diagnose HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C by testing a person’s blood for the presence of antibodies (disease-fighting proteins). Antibodies do not generally reach detectable levels in the blood for one to three months after infection, and it may take up to six months for the antibodies to show up in standard blood tests.

During the past 10 years, researchers have developed drugs to fight HIV infection, its associated infections and cancers in people who are newly infected with HIV as well as people with AIDS. There is no vaccine for HIV. While there are treatments available for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, not everyone needs treatment. If you are infected you should talk with a medical provider about treatment options.

PREVENT INFECTION

Other steps to avoid infection of HIV and hepatitis include:

  • DO avoid contact with blood or blood products.
  • DON’T have sex with anyone who has HIV or hepatitis, or someone with an unknown health history.
  • DO wash your hands after going to the bathroom and before handling food.
  • DON’T share nail clippers, razors, needles, or toothbrushes.
  • DON’T use recreational IV drugs. Never share needles. DO get help from a drug treatment program.
  • DO be cautious when getting tattoos or body piercings.
  • DON’T drink alcohol in excess. If you already have hepatitis avoid further liver damage and DON’T use any alcohol.
  • DO GET TESTED for HIV and/or hepatitis even if you have no symptoms.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact a member of your facility health care provider team.


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Start saving today for tomorrow through
U.S. Savings Bonds

white piggy bank with coins stacked in front of itThere’s no better time to start saving for tomorrow than right now. U.S. Savings Bonds are the perfect way to save for a major purchase, or to set up an emergency fund.

Savings Bonds are safe because they are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Your money is guaranteed to grow and be there when you want it.

Interest accrues monthly and is compounded semiannually. Savings bonds must be held a minimum of one year, and there is a three-month interest penalty applied to bonds held less than five years from issue date.

Earnings from Savings Bonds are exempt from local and state income taxes. Federal income taxes are deferred until you choose to redeem your bonds or when they stop earning interest at 30 years. You may even be able to avoid federal income taxes if you use your earnings to pay for qualified higher education expenses.

You may purchase U.S. Savings Bonds through the agency’s payroll deduction program. To start a deduction for savings bonds, complete a Bond Authorization Form (PERS59) and submit it to your unit or department Human Resources representative.

Bond Denomination
SERIES EE
SERIES I
savings bond savings bond
($100, $200, $500 or $1000-
purchased at 50% of face value)
($50, $75, $100 or $200-
purchased at face value)

You may elect to purchase multiple bonds; however, a new TDCJ U.S. Savings Bond Authorization (PERS59) form must be completed for each Bond transaction.

For additional information visit www.savingsbonds.gov or contact your unit or department Human Resources epresentative.


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