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Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Agency History

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) manages offenders in state prisons, state jails and private correctional facilities that contract with TDCJ. The agency also provides funding and oversight of community supervision and is responsible for the supervision of offenders released from prison on parole or mandatory supervision. The Department of Criminal Justice came into being in 1848 when “An Act to Establish a State Penitentiary” was passed by the 2nd Texas Legislature. The act established a governing body of the penitentiary as a three-member board of directors, appointed by the governor, with the approval of the senate. The board was responsible for creating and distributing a set of rules and bylaws for the administration of the penitentiary, overseeing the treatment of convicts, preparing an annual inventory of property, and making an annual report to the governor.

Department of Corrections Carrasco audiotapes and booklet | Texas Department of Corrections Convict records| Texas Department of Criminal Justice Training and Employment records | Texas Penitentiary Board Monthly Reports and Outgoing letters | Texas Judicial Advisory Council Meeting Files


Texas Department of Corrections: Carrasco Audiotapes and Booklet, 1974

Carrasco Audiotapes and Booklet

Creator: Texas. Department of Corrections
Title: Department of Corrections Carrasco audiotapes and booklet
Dates: 1974
Abstract: The Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) was responsible for the operation of the prison system from 1957 to 1989, when that function was absorbed by the newly created Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Records in this series are audiocassette tapes from the Carrasco hostage incident that occurred at the Huntsville Unit education and library facility, dating from July 27 to August 12, 1974, and a booklet about the event published that same year by the TDC. The dates of the audiotapes cover most of the eleven-day incident (July 24–August 3) and include the post-incident interviews (August 7–12). The incident, also known as the “Huntsville Siege,” involved three inmates—Fred Gomez Carrasco, Rudy S. Dominguez, and Ignacio Cuevas, who took hostages and made a number of demands to prison officials in exchange for their freedom. The incident ended with the deaths of two female hostages, the wounding of other hostages, and the deaths of inmate gunmen Carrasco and Dominguez.

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Texas Department of Corrections Convict Records, 1849-1976

Cover of Biennial Statistics ledgerCreator: Texas. Department of Corrections
Title: Texas Department of Corrections convict records
Dates: 1849-1976
Abstract: The Texas Department of Corrections managed offenders in state prisons, state jails, and contracted private correctional facilities from 1957 to 1989. The Texas Department of Corrections and its predecessors recorded personal data and commitment information about convicts entering the Texas prison system at Rusk Penitentiary and Huntsville Penitentiary in these ledgers dating 1849-1976.

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Texas Department of Criminal Justice Training and Employment Records, 1893-1939, 1947-2008

Sample employee payroll ledgerCreator: Texas. Board of Corrections
Title: Texas Department of Criminal Justice training and employment records
Dates: 1893-1939
Dates: 1947-2008
Abstract: The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) manages inmates in state prisons, state jails, and private correctional facilities that contract with TDCJ. The agency also provides funding and certain oversight of community supervision (previously known as adult probation) and is responsible for the supervision of inmates released from prison on parole or mandatory supervision. The Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ) provides oversight of TDCJ and the Wyndham School District of TDCJ. These records date 1893-1939, 1947-2008, and document procedures at TDCJ facilities, training of prison employees and board members, and information for inmates. The materials in Employee ledgers and the films in In-service training materials have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

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Texas Penitentiary Board Monthly Reports and Outgoing Letters, 1881-1889

Thumbnail of Penitentiary Board monthly reports letterpress bookCreator: Texas. Penitentiary Board
Title: Texas Penitentiary Board monthly reports and outgoing letters
Dates: 1881 to 1889
Abstract: The Texas State Penitentiary Board was responsible for overseeing the treatment of convicts, preparing an annual inventory of property, purchasing land for the penitentiaries, purchasing machinery, effecting repairs, leasing the penitentiaries, leasing convicts for outside labor, purchasing and/or leasing farms for the employment of convicts, and providing for the transfer of convicts from county jails to the penitentiary. Records date 1881-1889 and consist of a letterpress book of monthly reports prepared for the governor and two letterpress books containing copies of outgoing letters of the Penitentiary Board. These records reflect the activities of the board in the prison’s management. The letterpress copybook in Monthly reports has been digitized and is part of the Texas Digital Archive.

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Texas Judicial Advisory Council Meeting Files, 1990-2022

Texas Judicial Advisory Council

Creator: Judicial Advisory Council (Tex.)
Title: Texas Judicial Advisory Council meeting files
Dates: 1990-2022
Abstract: The Judicial Advisory Council advises the director of the Community Justice Assistance Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Texas Board of Criminal Justice on matters of interest to the judiciary. These files contain the minutes and agendas of the Texas Judicial Advisory Council and accompanying reports and documents presented to the council at its meetings, 1990-2022.

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