Thursday, January 27, 2011

Closing of Region III Central unit may be nothing more then a state sponsored land grab for cash

By Michael Williams, Backgate Website

As news of the impending, and now almost guaranteed closure of the Central unit in Sugarland looms over state employees assigned there, there just may be more then meets the eye within the deal to close the 101 year old prison that employs 300. The Backgate has learned that behind the scenes deals may have played out in convincing lawmakers to clear the property. Making room for millions of dollars in  private investment deals and sales for the state of Texas.

All of which possibly being orchestrated by your state legislators. The Backgate received numerous emails about employees of the Central unit being threatened by unit administrators against speaking out on the issues and the possible closure of the unit. An accusation that TDCJ spokeswoman Michelle Lyons denies. Lyons did however quote TDCJ policy on employees releasing agency information media in her email to the Backgate. The Backgate asked why the 300 plus employees of the Central unit were gagged publicly from discussing the closure of the unit and how it affected their families and life styles. Lyons directed us to the policy on the TDCJ website. Although a policy was not specifically quoted, or could be found on the website.

The story is ongoing, and your legislators have been asked to respond to the allegations.


  1. They're planning to fire hundreds of frontline TDCJ prison staff. Would you rather them do that and close a few units or keep all 112 operational and just leave everybody understaffed? Think about it. Cut nothing isn't an option.

    TDCJ's budget cuts proposals say they'd cut 7,300 staff positions before eliminating more than one unit. That makes no sense and even sounds dangerous. If they're going to slash away at TDCJ staff costs, maybe y'all should support a few prison closures so as not to leave guards hanging out to dry in understaffed, underfunded prisons.

  2. I have no problem with the State selling the property, as long as the State receives market value for the property. The State should develope the property themselves to assure that the State receives market value. All too many of the government sales of government realty begin with a low market value. After the sale is approved, all kinds of adjustments are provided to the buyers. This is allowed to happen, because all of the secrecy. The underlying records are public records and should be made available to the public at every step of the sales, all the way to the last transaction. We can see that something hokey is in the air, because the proposal calls for the property that is going to end up in the hands of government entities to be sold first to private entities. The State needs to clear the property themselves, then sell it piece by piece.

  3. I think we are all suffering from the poor leadership we have in Austin. Instead od closing of laying off hundreds of low paid employees lets try laying off some wardens, regional directors and other overpaid people who do nothing more than sit in an office and think of what havoc can be created by these layoffs.
    95% of the states prisons are already understaffed and laying off 7400 employees? Would that leave anyone to staff these prisons?
    The state is trying to hire more security staff yet they want to cut money?
    There are prisons that are so understaffed that they can't get enough people to work there that they offer bonuses if you move there.
    I think the State needs to re-think their strategy to control the state budget.

    Is our governor willing to drive instead of fly eveywhere? BET NOT