Monday, March 5, 2012

Is there any such thing as a "Trusty" Offender within the TDCJ

New Incoming TDCJ Offenders

By Tonya Peters, Backgate Website 


Are trusty camp operations on units really worth the trouble they bring the agency and the threat to the safety of the general public ? Trusty assigned offenders making late night trips to Walmart for tobacco, running under the cover of night to major highways to pick up a cache of drugs, tobacco cell phones and lord knows what else. How long will it be before a trusty gets his hands on a pistol and introduces it onto the facility ? Do the positives outweigh the risks to the general public and TDCJ employees ?

TDCJ relies heavily on trusty offenders to operate the tractors that plow and harvest millions of acres of TDCJ farmland all over the state. To raise and maintain cattle, pigs and chickens for sale to the public sector, and for internal usage. That being said, is money the determining factor in keeping these offenders outside of the main facilities without any type of fencing or enclosure to keep them in ? With much younger and violent offenders coming into the prison system, are the bad apples being excluded from being assigned such a free and open environment ? TDCJ Wardens have asked those same questions and have also been muted by the Huntsville headquarters. Should we at least fence them in as so we know where they are after dark ? Well TDCJ seems to think that the cost of fencing (which TDCJ produces itself) is to expensive to use to enclose these trusty camps. For those not on the inside, each TDCJ trusty camp compuund is made up of three metal fab buildings that house up to 107 offenders each, a dayroom with TV's, and an offender dining hall for meals. There is no fencing, no guard towers, or any other deterrent to keeping trusty camp assigned offenders in the compound.

 Many trusty camp compounds are located dangerously close to state highways, city neighborhoods, and in at least one case at the former Central prison unit in Sugarland, a Walmart Supercenter. TDCJ reports just some of the more high profile contraband items found on trusty camps as being; MP3 players, CD players, K2, marijuana, prescription pain killers, store bought bourbon, Nintendo DS, cartons of cigarettes, rolls of chewing tobacco, pornographic magazines, touch screen cell phones with full internet service, Burger King and McDonalds food, etc... the list goes on and on.. Staff members are frequently assaulted as the search offenders and locate prohibited items. Is it really worth it ? We will be looking at TDCJ trusty camp facilities, and the policies that pertain to them in the next few weeks. We may even have a Legislator or two chime in with their thoughts on some of these issues. As always. if you have input, we want to hear it !

10 comments:

  1. http://www.bing.com/Dictionary/search?q=define+trusty&qpvt=Trusty&FORM=DTPDIA

    Check out the definition of trusty above. If you want to put up fencing and a guard tower then it no longer fits the description of a truty camp.

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  2. Seashores says Dont blame the "Trusty Camp" environment...Blame the dirty bosses and visitors. The cons are just being cons. They are only doing what we are allowing them to do.
    The inmates in the building dont live in a trusty camp, but they have just as much contraband as the t/c's do. And no....it isnt coming in only from the trusties...The back gate deliveries play are large roll in this issue.
    If all or even the majority of the contraband was the fault of the trusty camps, then how do you explain all the contraband on units that dont even have "Trustees/Camps"?
    If you wanna move them all to the bldg, then do it because they are walking away to Wal-Mart undetected!

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    1. It is easy to point fingers at someone else being the source of a problem. Blame it on the back gates, trustee camps...and the list goes on. As long as there are prisons there is going to be contrband, escapes, attempted escapes and the like. My question is this. Why not make the possession of contraband and violations of prison rules not worth it to the violator? It is puzzling to me that when an inmate is caught with contraband or found guilty of some other violation,the reprocussions are minimal at best. Putting an offender on commissary restriction for 60 days, when he/ she has not had money on the books for 5 years? Letting an inmate hold his line class after a violation, only because he/she has snitched on another inmate or slandered a fellow officer? The POWERS THAT BE have toned down the fact that these people are convicted felons calling them "offenders" and "trustees" instead of the CONVICTED FELONS they are and trusting them more than they do the line officers that invest their lives and livelihood to protecting the public.

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    2. OMG, read the papers and see how many guards are bringing in contraband, at least as much, if not more than visitors. There are headlines all the time about guards bringing in cell phones and all other kinds of contraband. You seem to have a problem with the inmates being called offenders and trustees, well I think there are guards and then there are CO's. I would classify a CO as someone who follows ALL rules and regulations of the institution they work for, and guards would be someone just putting in the hours and sleeping on trash cans when they should be working, and as someone who let power go to their head. Your painting all inmates with the same brush, I have a feeling you may be working for TDCJ and I am wondering if you are a CO or a guard?

      No one should have contraband nor bring in contraband, right is right and wrong is wrong, no matter who you are.

      I do know that contraband can be classified as rediculous at times, for instance, if you purchase reading glasses at commissary and they break and you try to fix them and use them, they are contraband and can get a case written. They want you to buy another crappy pair at commissary and spend more money.

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  3. There's an old saying in the prison business and it's this: "A little contraband is good for the penitentiary." Does anyone agree or disagree with this?

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  4. i really want to know why i found a number that belonged to an offenders family member, turned it in to rank, and that person still has a job. but than tdc's rank, wants to mess with people who actually do their job and arent under the desk. it just blows my mind..

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  5. I hold to my original point. If the reprocussions of possession of contraband outweigh the benefits it would greatly reduce the demand. Eliminate it, I don't think that would ever be the case, simply because of the environment and mentality of a prison setting. But the pledge of Zero Contraband is laughable as long as the penalties (across the board) don't reinforce such a declaration.
    I also still hold to the point that changing from calling a convicted felon a convict, or inmate to the term offender / trusty is an attempt to minumize the status of someone that has been arrested, convicted and incarcerated on charges ABOVE a misdemeaner. Therein the term Felon.
    Dirty officers, yes and the same should apply to anyone that enables or possesses "dangerous contraband" inside the fence and makes it available to convicted felons. The issue there is that it is not a "level playing field" for any infractions and a factor in the present staffing shortages. Good officers are tired of the status quo.

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  6. why does this person still have a job? OIG isnt doing what they need to. I gave my rank enough information to point out this one person. Its sickening really.

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  7. Oh come on, If any of you would tell the truth? Everyone knows most of the contraband comes from the crooked CO's, You want the blame the inmates family members. the trustee camps, etc, and all of you know where 90% of it comes from, Paid off CO's. Do any of you even know there are active gang members on staff? Yes it's true, Blood's, Crip's, Mexcian mafia, All being paid by TDCJ, The gangs are not dumb, what better way to get contraband in then to have your own people on staff? It only proves the the Inmates are not as dumb as TDCJ thinks they are. I suggest you start looking on the inside, not the outside, but I dont see that happening, Its always easier to look away.

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    Replies
    1. AAHHH another inmate family member strikes again.

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