Grits for Breakfast: Disciplinary actions against Texas prison Friday, November 02, 2007 Disciplinary actions against Texas prison guards increasing In the wake of the high profile arrests of two TDCJ prison guards for an inmate assault and coverup, a prison guards' blog lets us know TDCJ staff are receiving internal discipline than ever before. Reports Marcus Wilson at the Back Gate:

The Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice is looking for a few good men and women, but are they finding them? The Backgate has uncovered statistics that paint a disturbing picture. Is it that TDCJ is processing more disciplinaries against staff these days, or is it that more staff members, being hired under less stringent requirements , are committing more rule infractions?

The fact is this, for this fiscal year within TDCJ, there was a sharp increase in these types of numbers. Whatever the reason, it's alarming.

In the fiscal year 2007 , 7786 disciplinary infractions were recorded against staff. Of those , a mere 729 were dismissed. 865 received a verbal reprimand as punishment, 4902 received disciplinary probation, 911 were suspended without pay, 7 received a reduction in pay, 51 were demoted, and 538 [staff] were dismissed.

TDCJ instituted a mediation process some years back to allow employees to appeal their dismissals. These are those numbers. There were 368 dismissal mediation sessions, 103 of those resigned during the mediation process, 221 were overturned or modified, and 2 resigned pending dismissal. 207 were approved for dismissal and dismissed.

The break down of the most used rule violation charges against staff are as follows. 1,719 had unexcused absences (one hour or more), 1,574 were for substandard duty performance, 780 were for violation of statutory authority, 494 for failure to obey a proper order from authority, 249 for tardiness, 240 for leaving security/duty post, 228 for sleeping on duty, 227 for conviction of misdemeanor charges, 205 for falsification of state documents, and 181 for having verbal/physical confrontations with other staff members. 1,868 were covered under " other " and not specified by TDCJ. Excellent blogging, Marcus! Keep up the good work. At TexasJustice. org Terry Pelz raises additional questions about the most recent arrests, but the Back Gate's statistics imply even bigger concerns. I'd particularly like to learn more about the 780 - roughly ten percent of all disciplinary infractions - where officers were in "violation of statutory authority." I'll bet that category contains an interesting range of stories, don't you think? Posted by Gritsforbreakfast at 10:57 AM http://gritsforbrea kfast.blogspot. com/2007/ 11/disciplinary- actions-against- texas.html