|Connally Unit in Kenedy, Region IV|
The Backgate covered a story of desperation coming out of Region IV a few weeks ago. It exposed possible short cuts and a potential safety issue for assigned staff of at least two Region IV units. The Connally and McConnell units in Region IV are seriously understaffed, and assigned Officers raised a red flag. You can read the related stories below this one. In recent developments, TDCJ has now asked other regions within the state to send staff down to Region IV to staff those two facilities on a daily rotational basis. A unit in Region I may send a van containing 7-8 Officers down to work a shift at the Connally or McConnell units to help improve staffing. Another unit in Region III may send 7-8 more to help out. Is this an effort to use a single finger to plug a much larger hole in the dike ?
TDCJ, and state Legislators need to eye alternatives to staffing these facilities long term. More monetary incentives, the addition of housing and other living facilities for staff ? These are a couple of ideas that have been mulled about. Either way, these responding staff members from all over Texas will eventually get tired of the hundreds of miles driven to bolster the Region IV numbers. The Backgate is in contact with some of the state's key criminal justice Legislators and will provide additional information as it is available.