Media Policies and Guidelines for Offender Interviews
Reporters wishing to interview offenders incarcerated within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) should submit their request in writing, by fax or Email to Jason Clark, Director of Public Information, at (936) 437-6055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All requests must be submitted on the news organization's letterhead, and should include the reporter's name and contact information, including an e-mail address. The request should also include the offender's name and other identifying information (date of birth, TDCJ number, etc.) when known.
- Request for interviews must be submitted at least three working days prior to the date of the reporter’s desired visit. Reporters will have one hour to interview an individual offender. A reasonable amount of time will be allowed for camera crews to set up equipment. This set-up time is not considered part of the hour granted to the reporter.
- Interviews with men on Death Row are conducted on Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m. Requests for these interviews must be submitted no later than noon on Monday prior to the desired Wednesday visit.
- Reporters will have one hour to interview an individual offender on Men’s Death Row. A reasonable amount of time will be allowed for camera crews to set up equipment. This set-up time is not considered part of the hour granted to the reporter.
- The following items are allowed in the reporter’s possession: recording devices, wireless microphones, notepads, writing instruments and camera equipment.
Media representatives are not allowed to wear shorts, open-toed shoes, sleeveless shirts or see-through fabrics. It is also preferred that reporters and their crewmembers not wear white. Dresses or skirts should be no shorter than three (3) inches above the middle of the knee.
- Attorneys, families, spiritual advisors, and other individuals on an offender's personal visitation list are not permitted to be present during media interviews, nor are reporters able to accompany any of these individuals on their personal visits.
Failure to adhere to the agency's media policies and/or guidelines may result in removal from the unit. Such failure may also jeopardize the organization’s ability to conduct future interviews at TDCJ facilities.
Questions about TDCJ's media policies may be directed to the Public Information Office at (936) 437-6052.