connections logo
An employee publication of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
July/August 2015
  Current Issue Archive TDCJ Phone & Address Directory Contact TDCJ Home

Print Copy

TDCJ mourns loss of Officer
Timothy Davison

On Wednesday morning of July 15, Correctional Officer Timothy Davison of the Telford Unit was physically assaulted by an offender while escorting him to his cell. The 47-year-old officer suffered serious injuries in the attack and was transported to Christus St. Michael's Hospital in Texarkana, where he died later in the day. Officer Davison began his employment with TDCJ in December 2014.


Photo of memorial service held in New Boston, Texas for Officer Timothy Davison

The TDCJ Honor Guard at attention during a memorial service held in New Boston for Officer Timothy Davison.

A memorial service was held for Officer Davison on July 25 at the First Baptist Church in New Boston. More than one thousand mourners were in attendance, mostly fellow TDCJ officers, law enforcement officers, agency employees and correctional staff from around the nation. Executive Director Brad Livingston, Correctional Institutions Division Director Bill Stephens and Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver J. Bell were among the many agency officials attending the service.

"Officer Davison was a hero who died in the line of duty while protecting the public," said Director Livingston. "We continue to keep his family, friends and co-workers in our thoughts and prayers. His tragic death will forever affect their lives, but we hope the passage of time will help ease the pain they have endured."

A criminal and administrative investigation into the assault is ongoing. The offender alleged to have committed the assault is serving multiple sentences for Burglary of a Habitation; several Aggravated Assault convictions, including Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Aggravated Assault with Serious Bodily Injury on a Public Servant; and Possession of a Deadly Weapon in a Penal Institution.

Donations for the Davison Family may be sent to: Guaranty Bank and Trust, 750 James Bowie Drive, New Boston, Texas 75570. account number 12819991, routing number 111915327

back to top

Print Copy

Inspected TDCJ facilities meet PREA standards, audits continue

Prison Rape Elimination Act logo

The Prison Rape Elimination Act standards were established to prevent, detect and respond to prison rape pursuant to the PREA Act of 2003. To determine compliance with the PREA standards, all secure confinement facilities operated by or under contract with TDCJ are audited at least once every three years by auditors certified through the U.S. Department of Justice. As of July 2015, approximately one-third of TDCJ's secure facilities have been reviewed and all have met PREA standards.

TDCJ's efforts to prevent the physical and sexual abuse of offenders predate implementation of the PREA standards. By the time Congress passed the PREA legislation in 2003, TDCJ already had a well-established Safe Prisons Program in place. With its longstanding zero-tolerance policy for in-prison sexual abuse, the agency was largely compliant with the new PREA standards which supplement and strengthen TDCJ's ongoing effort to prevent, detect and properly respond to in-prison sex abuse.

A few changes were implemented in light of the PREA standards: for example, in August 2013 all state jail youthful offenders were placed in dedicated housing areas similar to the policy already in place for youthful prison offenders. Also, the Safe Prisons/PREA Management Office began actively seeking partnerships with community-based rape crisis centers to provide offender-victims with support services and counseling, and a "knock and announce" policy requiring all opposite gender staff to announce their presence in offender housing as they enter the area was implemented in order to limit viewing of an offender in a state of undress.

The audit findings for each facility are posted on the agency website as they become available, with remaining uninspected facilities to be audited over the next two years. The agency anticipates that these facilities will also meet the PREA standards, as Correctional Institutions Division Director Bill Stephens noted, "TDCJ has always taken active and effective measures to enforce its zero-tolerance policy for in-prison sexual assault. The information gained through these new PREA audits has strengthened the agency's Safe Prisons Program, helping to ensure offender safety and maintaining a safe work environment for staff."

The Texas Board of Criminal Justice's PREA Ombudsman coordinates agency efforts to eliminate sexual abuse and sexual harassment in TDCJ correctional facilities and provides an independent office to receive and respond to allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. PREA Ombudsman Lynne Sharp, who was appointed by the Texas Board of Criminal Justice in November 2014 and reports directly to its chairman, commented on the ongoing auditing process, saying "As the office responsible for monitoring the agency's efforts to eliminate sexual abuse and sexual harassment and ensuring policies and procedures are in compliance with federal and state laws and standards, the PREA audits provide valuable data which highlights the Safe Prisons/PREA Program's most successful efforts while helping the agency plan for continuous improvement."

Both Stephens and Sharp praised TDCJ employees for their ongoing efforts to prevent sexual abuse and other acts of violence within the agency's correctional facilities, and expressed gratitude and appreciation to employees for their public service.

back to top

Print Copy

State Employee Charitable Campaign began September 1

The State Employee Charitable Campaign is a workplace fundraising campaign authorized by the legislature for state agency and higher education employees in Texas. The campaign began September 1 and runs through October 31. For 22 years, employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and other state agencies have generously supported the many SECC charities through fundraising and payroll deduction.

SECC fundraising allows you to donate to a variety of charities. Participating groups range from small local charities to large, well-known national and international nonprofit organizations. Commenting on TDCJ's long record of successful SECC fundraising, agency campaign coordinator Carie Beaty noted that, "Throughout the year, the SECC provides critical support for nonprofit charities across the state and the nation. We anticipate that TDCJ employees will continue their history of generous giving."

State Employee Charitible Campaign logo

Participating charities must meet stringent legal requirements, be recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and register with the Secretary of State. Approved SECC charities are audited every year to ensure they spend no more than 25 percent of contributions on administrative costs.

Contributing through payroll deduction provides necessary funds to sustain charitable organizations while maximizing the positive effect of your contribution. Contributions made by cash and check are also accepted and, like payroll deductions, can be directed toward your favorite charities.

To learn more about the SECC and which charities it represents, visit the SECC website. A calendar of planned TDCJ fundraisers, as well as instructions on submitting a fundraising event, can be accessed on the agency website.

Participation in the SECC program is completely voluntary.

back to top

Print Copy

Executive Director Livingston honored by ACA

In August, TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston was the recipient of the American Correctional Association's E.R. Cass Award.


ACA president Mary Livers presenting TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston with the 2015 ACA E.R. Cass award

ACA President Mary Livers presents TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston with the 2015 ACA E.R. Cass Award.
(Photo courtesy of American Correctional Association)

The E.R. Cass Correctional Achievement Award was created in 1962 in honor of Edward R. Cass, who devoted more than 50 years of his life to corrections. The ACA honors corrections' most dedicated professionals with the E.R. Cass Award; recipients must have made an outstanding contribution over the course of their career to the Association and the field of professional corrections, and must also serve the community in both their correctional and non-correctional lives.

James Gondles, executive director of the American Correctional Association, commented on Livingston's career achievements, saying, "Brad Livingston's leadership with TDCJ has led to Texas becoming fully accredited. The improvements he has implemented at TDCJ have benefited the staff, the offenders and the citizens of Texas. He is a leader in American Corrections."

back to top

Print Copy

Executive Director Livingston honored by TPEA

In August, TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston was recognized by the Texas Public Employees Association with its 2015 Administrator of the Year Award.

Livingston, who has served as TDCJ executive director since November 2004, was first selected as TPEA's Administrator of the Year in 2007. His second selection in 2009 was the first time an administrator had been twice recognized by the ACA. This is the fourth time Livingston has been named Administrator of the Year by the TPEA, a nonpartisan association that serves as an advocate for state employees before the Texas Legislature. The Administrator of the Year Award honors excellence in public service and leadership in achieving goals benefiting state government, state employees and retirees.


TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston receiving the 2015 TPEA Administrator of the Year award from TPEA Executive Director Gary W. Anderson

TPEA Executive Director Gary W. Anderson, left, with TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston and TBCJ Chairman Oliver J. Bell at the August board meeting where Livingston was presented with the 2015 TPEA Administrator of the Year Award.

TPEA Executive Director Gary W. Anderson explained why Livingston's work has so often earned recognition, saying, "We are continually impressed by Brad's long-term dedication to TDCJ and his commitment to the agency's employees. His dialogue with the Legislature has helped increase understanding and appreciation of not only the work of TDCJ but also state employees as a whole."

back to top

Print Copy

Governor Abbott appoints three to TBCJ, names chairman

In August, Texas Governor Greg Abbott named the Honorable Dale Wainwright chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice and appointed Tom G. Fordyce and Derrelynn Perryman as TBCJ members, with terms scheduled to expire on February 1, 2021. The TBCJ is responsible for hiring the executive director of the department and setting rules and policies which guide the agency. TBCJ members also serve as the Board of Trustees for the Windham School District within the TDCJ.

Dale Wainwright, TBCJ Chairman
 
Dale Wainwright
TBCJ Chairman
 

Wainwright is managing partner of the Austin office of the international law firm Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. He is an appellate lawyer representing clients in appeals of complex commercial disputes of all types in state and federal courts and administrative appeals of oil and gas and electric utility disputes. Prior to joining Bracewell, Wainwright served on the Texas Supreme Court for 10 years, authoring more than 125 opinions. He began his judicial career in 1999 when he was appointed by Governor George W. Bush to preside over the 334th Civil District Court in Houston, Texas. Prior to becoming a jurist, he represented clients at trial and in appeals for more than a decade.

Wainwright is the first African American to be elected to the Texas Supreme Court and has been recognized with numerous awards including the 2008 National Bar Association Humanitarian Award, 2006 National Black Prosecutors Association Trail Blazer Award and the 2000 NAACP Legal Excellence Award. Wainwright graduated summa cum laude from Howard University with a bachelor's degree in economics. He studied abroad at the London School of Economics as the Lucy Dalbiac Luard Scholar and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School.


TBCJ member Tom Fordyce

Tom Fordyce
Member

Tom Fordyce is a rancher, cow and calf operator and hay producer, and recently served as a commissioner for the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Prior to that assignment, Fordyce was director of TDCJ's Agribusiness, Land and Minerals Department. Fordyce has also been appointed to serve on the Trinity River Authority and Texas Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Council.

Fordyce served in the United States Marines during the Vietnam conflict, retiring in March 1968 due to combat injuries. He currently serves as a board member for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Lone Survivor Foundation and Huntsville Veterans' Affairs Advisory Board. He previously served on the Texas Veterans Commission advisory board, Huntsville Economic Development Council, Brownfield Memorial Hospital Board and KickStart for Kids program board. Fordyce holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Sam Houston State University.

TBCJ member Derrelyn Perryman
 
Derrelyn Perryman
Member
 

Derrelynn Perryman is Victim Services Coordinator for the Arlington Police Department, a position she has held since 1994. During Perryman's term of service, the APD has been twice recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for excellence in providing victim services. She also serves as an adjunct instructor for the School of Social Work and the Criminal Justice and Criminology Department at The University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to that, she served as a therapist at Family Assessment, Consultation and Therapy Service, where she developed programs for court-ordered offenders. She is a certified peace officer instructor, trains officers and first responders, and is a member of the Critical Incident Team with Arlington Police Department.

Perryman has counseled children who have lost a parent in the line of duty and has held leadership positions with the Texas Victim Services Association and the Tarrant County Criminal Justice Plan Committee. Perryman earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in social work from The University of Texas at Arlington.

Dale Wainwright replaces TBCJ Chairman Oliver J. Bell, Tom Fordyce replaces Carmen Villanueva-Hiles and Derrelynn Perryman replaces Janice Harris Lord. The terms of all departing board members expired February 1 of this year.

back to top

Print Copy

TDCJ prepares for 2015 Atlantic hurricane season

Sattelite image of Atlantic hurricane

This year's Atlantic hurricane season has seen six named storms develop to date and the current outlook predicts a below average hurricane season due to a developing strong El Nino. Colorado State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have lowered their forecasts for hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean basin as El Nino, a warming of the Pacific Ocean waters off the northern South American west coast, leads to strong easterly trade winds and increased wind shear that inhibit development of tropical cyclone activity. However, it only takes one hurricane to hit your home or workplace for it to feel like an active year.

While the agency's front line employees always deal directly with inclement weather, TDCJ relies on effective emergency planning to continue operations with minimal disruption. The Office of Incident Management, in coordination with the Correctional Institutions Division and other agency divisions, oversees TDCJ's emergency preparedness and response activities.

TDCJ prepares for the annual hurricane season, which typically peaks from August to October, through careful emergency response planning, effective staff training and other appropriate measures. TDCJ's Office of Incident Management, in coordination with the Correctional Institutions Division and other agency divisions, oversees the agency's emergency preparedness and response activities for weather-related and other types of emergencies. OIM oversees the agency's emergency response and continuity of operations plans, and trains agency staff on specific emergency response roles. OIM also oversees some transport activities for the State Emergency Management Plan, which includes management of a wide variety of state transportation assets. OIM and other agency representatives coordinate emergency response activities that involve everything from the evacuation of offenders to the delivery of provisions to affected facilities.

When there's a chance that a hurricane might threaten Texas, OIM monitors the storm's approach and keeps senior agency staff aware of its strength and where it might make landfall. If TDCJ operations might be threatened, central command staff meets in Huntsville to begin response planning. Throughout the emergency, OIM maintains communications with senior agency managers and other appropriate groups.

While the OIM and Emergency Command Center coordinate TDCJ's emergency response, the agency's front line staff members might be responsible for logistical challenges ranging from evacuation of thousands of offenders to delivering emergency provisions, all while maintaining security. Despite the obstacles nature throws their way, TDCJ employees routinely rise to the occasion and ensure the agency's vital public safety mission is achieved.

When the storm has passed, OIM coordinates with the Business and Finance Division to seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for storm-related costs incurred by TDCJ, which can run into millions of dollars.

Everyone living in an area where a tropical storm might strike should know what to do in the event of a hurricane. This is especially important for public safety professionals including police, firefighters, EMS and other medical care providers, as well as some TDCJ staff members who must continue to provide critical services during weather conditions which will close most businesses and may require evacuation of their family for an undetermined period of time. In some cases, TDCJ employees from unaffected areas of the state may report to potential impact areas so local staff members have time to evacuate their family and prepare their personal property before the storm hits.

Typically, the best plan is to evacuate if instructed to do so by authorities. "Run from water and hide from wind" are good rules to follow during tropical storms. Storm surge and flooding are usually more significant threats than wind, and even a small category hurricane can cause a large storm surge. It's important to have evacuation plans in place and to take evacuation orders seriously and www.ready.gov is a great website for help with preparedness planning.

If you do not evacuate and must stay in place to ride out a hurricane, make sure you have a supply kit on hand. This kit should include several days' worth of drinkable water and nonperishable foods, any special foods for infants or the elderly, personal toiletries and medicines, blankets and pillows, a first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, fully-charged cell phones and a battery-operated NOAA weather radio.

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agency News

 

 

 

 

 

star bulletBoard Bulletin

star bulletAgency News

TDCJ mourns loss of Officer
Timothy Davison

Inspected TDCJ facilities meet PREA standards, audits continue

State Employee Charitable Campaign began September 1

Executive Director Livingston honored by ACA

Executive Director Livingston honored by TPEA

Governor Abbott appoints three to TBCJ, names chairman

TDCJ prepares for 2015 Atlantic hurricane season

star bulletPolicies and Benefits

star bullet Saluting Employees