Monday, June 6, 2011
Central prison unit tagged for closure, funding stops Sept 1st 2011, TDCJ admin still have not addressed employees.
The current staff members employed at the Central unit in Sugarland will have until December 1, 2011 now as part of a new plan to shutter the 102 year old facility, but TDCJ administrators still have not addressed affected staff members with plans. Signed legislation red tagged the facility almost a month ago, and a statement the Backgate received from TDCJ spokesperson Michelle Lyons stated that the prison would not be funded past August 31, 2011. TDCJ has now stated that the facility has now begun the process of assisting employees find a new position within the agency, and even relocating employees housed in state supplied housing on the facility grounds.
Posted supervisory and other positions have been closed to allow Central unit staff members a shot at promoting out, or transferring out from the unit. A plan that may be too little to late in the eyes of some employees. During the legislative session, it was alleged by Central unit employees that the unit administration muzzled them and prevented them from speaking out publicly regarding the unit's closure. Allegations that TDCJ has denied. But now employees are speaking out regarding the lack of information, and lack of caring TDCJ has shown in dealing with the sensitive process of employees being forced to leave their homes and move there families out of the area. Employees have emailed us here stating that the administration has failed to pass along updates, information on relocating, or any other information to them as a whole since the ordeal began months back. Most have become frustrated and given up.
Many employees have grown roots in the Fort Bend County area near the facility and have expressed fear in being able to relocate their families to another area to continue there employment without driving long distances with high gas prices in place. It seems there needs to be more open communication and caring between TDCJ admin and the employees of Central. Updates need to be relayed to employees as it may affect there lives. It's not the fault of TDCJ why the facility is closing, but it's the fault of TDCJ that employees are having to reach out to the media for information that the agency should be supplying themselves.