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______In this issue_____________________________________________

Comprehensive video surveillance installed at TDCJ unit

prison courtyard It’s all caught on camera.

First, the offender crouches to snatch a hand-fashioned weapon from beneath the door of a third row cell. He then walks down a flight of stairs and casually waits on the landing as another offender passes. Suddenly, the armed offender pulls out his weapon and strikes his target in the back. The wounded man runs off, tearing off his shirt as he flees...

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Budget update for TDCJ employees from the executive director

dollar signAs of January 13, 2011, the General Appropriations Bill, which determines the state’s budget for the next two fiscal years, had not yet been introduced. The bill as filed will provide the starting point for budget deliberations that will continue throughout the legislative session, which ends May 30. It is widely anticipated that the bill will substantially reduce appropriations to state agencies. Once the filed version is available, we will prepare a brief summary of the reductions impacting TDCJ and distribute that information through the agency website...

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Patriot Paws program helps disabled veterans, inspires offenders

Offender training a dogWhen Lori Stevens’ dogs play fetch, they don’t chase after a ball, a Frisbee or a block of wood. Instead, they retrieve things like a wireless telephone, a key ring or, in some cases, an artificial limb.

Stevens, with the help of 22 offenders at the Crain and Murray units in Gatesville, trains service dogs for military veterans and others with disabilities through Patriot Paws, a nonprofit organization based in Rockwall...

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Staff safety depends heavily on education, awareness

man walking in the path of an open cabinet drawerTDCJ employees are far more likely to be injured in typical workplace accidents than by offender assault, according to the agency’s Risk Management Department. In FY 2010, only one in five employee injuries were due to offender action. The bulk of the 4,797 total injuries resulted from non-serious mishaps such as falls, being struck by moving objects or colliding with stationary fixtures...

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TDCJ employees donate record charitable amount through SECC

business man and woman with dollar sign and upward arrow in backgroundMoney is tight, but when it comes to chairitable giving, Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees aren’t. Agency employees donated $919,200 through the 2010 State Employee Charitable Campaign, beating last year’s record total by more than $48,000. Payroll deductions surpassed $581,800 in 2010, while another $337,400 in cash was raised...

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January/February 2011
Volume 18 Issue 3

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