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In this issue

Governor appoints two new members, reappoints Miles to TBCJ

image of figures sitting around a board room table. 'TBCJ' spelled out on table top.Governor Greg Abbott has appointed E. F. "Mano" DeAyala and Patrick O'Daniel, and reappointed Larry Miles to six-year terms with the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. The Texas Board of Criminal Justice oversees TDCJ, which provides confinement, supervision, rehabilitation, and reintegration of the state's convicted felons.

Executive director's legislative update

TDCJ executive director Bryan CollierWhile there are some significant differences between the House and Senate proposals, in regards to the appropriations to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the two legislative chambers are generally in agreement. Most agency functions are funded at the current appropriated levels. The most notable exception involves a reduction in funding based on declining offender populations.

TDCJ Fallen Officers Memorial ceremony to open
National Correctional Officers and Employees Week

The 2017 National Correctional Officers and Employees Week begins May 7. On May 5 TDCJ will hold its annual Fallen Officers Memorial ceremony to honor correctional employees who lost their lives in the line of duty. This year’s ceremony holds special significance as the agency honors Correctional Officer Mari Anne Johnson of the Robertson Unit in Abilene.

national correctional officers and employees week 2017 is May 7 to 13, banner with quote, 'No group of Americans has a more difficult or less publicly visible job than the brave men and women who work in our correctional facilities.' -President Ronald Reagan.

South Texas ISF closes, Kegans State Jail repurposed to ISF

Image of empty jail dormitory.Given recent declines in the offender population, projections indicating stable population numbers during the next five fiscal years and legislative requests to reduce expenditures, TDCJ, in consultation with the Texas Legislature, decided to close the South Texas Intermediate Sanction Facility, a privately operated facility in downtown Houston.

TDCJ participates in FBI’s iris identification pilot program

Photo of Holliday Unit Administrative Assistant Tamara Johnson working with new iris scanning equipment as she processes an offender.TDCJ has contributed more than 110,000 offender entries to the FBI’s Iris Recognition Pilot program database, part of its larger Next Generation Identification System, which uses fingerprint, palm print, facial recognition and iris scanning technology to create a searchable biometric database for use in criminal investigations and identification.

ERS Summer Enrollment for TDCJ employees begins June 26

Beach scene sand and waves, Employees Retirement System of Texas logo. 2017 online summer enrollment starts June 26.ERS online Summer Enrollment runs from June 26 to July 8. After July 8, employees have until July 28 to make enrollment changes through their HR representative, their unit HR office, TDCJ’s HR Headquarters, or by calling the ERS. With few exceptions, Summer Enrollment is the only time of the year when you can make changes to your benefits without a qualifying life event.

Upgrade data security with easy-to-remember passphrases

Clipart image with'PASSWORD' across middle, password type box below and computer images floating in space behind.Passphrases are replacing passwords as a method of user authentication, and the agency is currently evaluating how to migrate systems to allow for passphrase identification. There's no cause for concern, though, as switching from using passwords to passphrases can be easy if done correctly.

Two TDCJ employees earn Governor’s Volunteer Service awards

Photo of TDCJ staff members Warden Jeffery Catoe and Chaplian Debbie Dunn accepting their Governor's Volunteer Services awards.Warden Jeffrey Catoe and Chaplain Debbie Dunn were honored for their work at the 22nd Annual Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards ceremony. The Volunteer Service Award is presented to those who donate their time and effort to help crime victims and rehabilitate offenders.

TDCJ Victim Services hosts Victim Assistance Training Academy

Photo of Stephanie Martinez, Client Advocate with the Atascosa Family Crisis Center, attempts to navigate through the obstacles confronting a victim who has two children and is confined to a wheelchair.Fifty victim services professionals participated in the Texas Victim Assistance Training Academy hosted by TDCJ’s Victim Services Division. Presentations covered topics such as crime victim rights, victim services ethics, stress management and effective communication skills for those who work with crime victims.

 

March/April 2017

Volume 24 Issue 4

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