Texas Department of Corrections

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Considered a central state penitentiary, the Texas Department of Corrections houses a total of 154,795 inmates. There are an estimated 72,715 convicted people imprisoned every twelve months and an estimated 71,063 convicts are released from the prison every twelve months.

Before a centralized penitentiary was created, local jails in every county of Texas housed convicts. It was on March 13, 1848 that the legislature created and passed the bill to begin the Texas penitentiary.

Any unresolved problems related to your convicted relatives and the Texas Department of Corrections? If so, you may head to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or the TDCJ Ombudsman Program. Although the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Ombudsman cannot override decisions made by authorities like judges or the Board of Criminal Justice, they can be of great assistance to you in case problems arise. The TDCJ Ombudsman acts as a liaison between the TDJC and the general population. The ombudsman is also tasked with supplying information about the policies, procedures, and actions of the TDCJ. It also facilitates problem resolution, as well as responds to inquiries about specific offenders. The ombudsman also does referrals to appropriate agencies and serves as a contact and information resource for special interest groups.

The offender can seek assistance with problem resolution through the Offender Grievance Program. The program provides the offender with a chance to resolve the problem by requesting relief from the unit administration. All the offender needs to do is complete a grievance form and submit it to the Unit Grievance Investigator. Then they must wait for the decision response. Through this program, offenders are given the chance to enhance their skills at problem resolution in a responsible environment.

Any queries addressed to the TDCJ Ombudsman must be in written form. People are encouraged to utilize the unit or parole division office level before heading to the Ombudsman Coordinator. TDCJ- Parole Division Ombudsman can be reached by mail at P.O. Box 13401, Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711. The office can be reached by phone at (512) 406-5795. They can also be contacted by fax at (512) 406-5858 or by email at ombudsman@tdcj.state.tx.us.

For issues that cannot be resolved and answered in the parole division, such as agency’s operation and procedures, prison units, state jails and the like, you may contact the Ombudsman Coordinator at P.O. Box 99, Huntsville, Texas 77342-0099. The coordinator’s phone number is (936) 437-4927 and the fax number is (936) 437-8067. You may also wish to email the office at ombudsman@tdcj.state.tx.us. For more information, visit them online through https://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/divisions/arrm/arrm_res_ombudsman.html.
If you have questions about an offender, it is best for you to contact the administrative staff of the offender’s assigned unit. You have the option of either mailing or calling them. The address and numbers can be found through the TDCJ website, https://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/index.html. More information can be found at https://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/offender_information/index.html.

On the other hand, broad questions may arise from the family, friends, relatives, and significant others of the inmates while their loved ones are in the correction facilities. The Department of Corrections has written and published a booklet entitled General Information Guide for Families of Offenders that will answer all your queries. This booklet is designed to answer the most frequently asked questions of friends and families of Texas inmates. Some of the areas discussed in the booklet include visitation, mail, good conduct time, and release issues, as well as specific procedures and protocols of the institution. The booklet can also be viewed and read online through http://www.thefreeinmatelocator.com/support-files/guideforfamilesbytdcj.pdf

The State of Texas also provides everyone the chance to find inmates and prisoners that are housed in local, state, or federal correctional institutions. Try locating your imprisoned family or significant others through http://www.myinmatelocator.com/Texas/Texas.html.

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