The Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced that it is in lockdown measures.

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The TDCJ is taking action as a response to rising violence within the prison system.    Due to the increased contraband and drug-related inmate homicides over the last 5 years, they are proceeding with an immediate lockdown and search of all the correctional facilities included in the TDCJ.

In 2023, so far, the TDCJ has reported 16 homicides involving inmate on inmate.  The TDCJ believes that these deaths are directly tied to the illegal drugs that are finding their way into the prisons.

“These incidents have heightened concerns regarding the safety and security of inmates, staff, and the public,” TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier said. "A lockdown is a necessary response to confront the root causes of this crisis, enhance security measures, and ensure the well-being of all individuals within our agency. We are committed to finding the narcotics, but also working with the Office of Inspector General and outside law enforcements to dismantle the networks that our trafficking drugs into our systems.”

In an effort to prevent and detect contraband coming into the facilities, the TDCJ lockdown will limit the movement of inmates and limit contact with people outside of the prison.  Each inmate and staff will have to undergo more intensified searches.

The TDCJ has also moved all mail coming into the facilities to digital mail.   As of Wednesday, September 6, 2023, all mail for inmates must be sent to the digital mail center.  The center will then scan the mail and upload it to the inmates' tablets. The new mailing address for inmates in the TDCJ, PO Box 660400,  Dallas, TX 75266-0400

The decision for all inmate mail to be digital is because of the increase of paper soaked in methamphetamines and K2 and then being sent to the facilities through traditional mail.

The TDCJ has also established tiplines for inmates, staff, and families to report any contraband or suspicious activities.

Those in the TDCJ facilities can expect more K9 searches and other technology will be used in searches to detect contraband

Those entering any TDCJ facilities will now be required to undergo comprehensive searchs.

An increase in drug testing will also be implemented to help identify those in any activity involving drugs

Visitation for those inmates in any TDCJ facility has been canceled.

“The safety of inmates, staff, and the public is our highest priority,” TDCJ Inspector General Cris Love said. “Illegal drugs within our facilities will not be tolerated. Individuals found smuggling contraband will be arrested and subject to prosecution.”

Inmates will still be able to use the phone and their tablets during the lockdown.

Once these searches are complete in all TDCJ facilities, then the normal operations will resume.

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