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Texas News

TDCJ Launches Emergency Prison Lockdowns and Sweeping Contraband Crackdown to Curb Inmate Violence Surge

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is taking swift and immediate action to address a rise in dangerous contraband and drug-related inmate homicides. Over the last five years, the volume of illegal narcotics entering the system has substantially increased. This directly impacts the safety of staff and inmates. Additionally, this year the number of inmate-on-inmate homicides have increased. It is believed that the majority of the incidents are tied back to illegal drugs.

As a result, the agency is implementing an immediate lockdown and comprehensive search of all correctional facilities within TDCJ.

To combat this contraband challenge, TDCJ is taking the following measures to detect and prevent the entry of dangerous contraband into its facilities:

Systemwide Lockdown: Each facility will limit the movement of inmates and their contact with those outside the prison. Inmates and staff will undergo intensified searches to intercept and confiscate contraband.

Digital Mail: TDCJ is completing the rollout of the digital mail program. Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in paper soaked in K2 or methamphetamines coming into our facilities. The digital mail program will halt this contraband being sent through traditional mail. Effective September 6, 2023, all inmate mail should be addressed and sent to the Digital Mail Center. All mail received this week will be delivered to the digital mail processing center. More information about this program can be found here: TDCJ News - TDCJ Digital Mail Rollout.

Increased K9 Searches and Other Technology: To assist in contraband detection and outside funding related to contraband, TDCJ will be deploying additional resources. Specialized search teams and narcotic dogs will be deployed to units and staff will be subject to enhanced search procedures.

Comprehensive Searches: All persons entering our facilities at all locations will undergo comprehensive searches.

Additional measures may be implemented as necessary to safeguard the lives and well-being of all those within its care.

Due to the fact staff will be concentrating on these search efforts, visitation will be cancelled until further notice. Inmates will still have access to the phone system and tablets.

Once these comprehensive searches are complete, normal operations will resume.


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