Monday, April 30, 2012

Is TDCJ violating your privacy rights by requiring you give them your facebook password ???



By Doug Glass, Backgate Website


Well, looks like TDCJ may be requiring employees to present their personal facebook or other social media site account passwords to the administration as so some snooping can be done. We received word today that employees around the state have run into bullying and threats over their personal facebook account access. The TDCJ contends that employees cannot have ex-offenders, family of ex-offenders, or even friends of friends of ex-offenders or their families on their facebook/Twitter friends list. An offense under this rule (rule #42) could spell termination with no chance of mediation for that employee. Although we understand the issue with ex-offenders or even ex-offenders families, how can it be proven you were aware of who was who ?

  How can you know that the high school friend from 1985 you have not seen since then has a brother or sister that was once in prison ? Or may even once were themselves? Were does safety and security meet with common sense and violation of your rights ? Well, we will obviously be looking into this more closely over the next week or so. We will seek clarification by TDCJ, and see what the TDCJ unions, State Lawmakers, and even civil rights attorneys have to say about the practice. Facebook administrators have released a statement that read that they (facebook attorneys) would sue any agency or employer that required employees to turn over there passwords as it violates there own terms of service with their members. Stay tuned...

32 comments:

  1. Ive heard rumor that a Sgt from the walls unit has already been fired over this. On one hand tdcj seems content on low wages along with zero concept of human resource management but also wants to control who and how we socialize with on the outside. Does the insanity ever end?

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    1. And no im not encouraging socializing with ex-offenders or families of current offenders, as im sure there some nay-sayers that would interpret my above post as just that.

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    2. This has less to do with keeping us from being friends with former offenders and everything to with keeping an eye on what we might be saying about our own administrations.They fear open dialog among officers about the rabbidly hostile work enviornment that they are currently trying to create. From what I see so far this agency has no regard for it's people what so ever. I say, don't just talk about trained monkeys doing our job, I say, get those monkeys and start training them. The agency can then fire us all and use the monkeys. Or they can run the whole thing themselves. After all they don't really need us, do they? As far as I can tell they would like to find a way to lock us in with the offenders and keep us from access to the outside world. The only reason these dishonorable people think so low of us is because when they were COs they were on the take and they assume all of us are just like them. People tend to judge others based on themselves, an example of this the cheating husband always thinks his wife cheats on him. What this agency really needs is regieme change across the board. The low-life traitors to the constitution should be dressed in white. Anyone who willingly subverts the constitution and tramples the rights of free men shouldn't be allowed to live in this state, much less hold a position of leadership. I choose to remain anonymous, as I would have to worry about being murdered by my adminastrator for voicing my opinion.

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    3. they are too stupid to pull that one off.

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    4. I know 2 officers that have been fired because of what they said on Facebook, and it had nothing to do with ex-inmate's etc. they both were criticizing the way TDCJ is run,particularly the unit they were on. One main problem with this unit is the warden was never a CO and he has no idea what it's like to do that job.He does eveything for the inmate's and nothing for the employee's.Except to write them up for every little thing he can and try to set them up so he can fire them.That unit has lost so many good officers it's unreal.I am claiming anonymous because I still need the paycheck.

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    5. Apparently, this mess is still going on.

      I have a friend who is in the hiring process, who told me he could no longer be friends with me on facebook because I spent one night in jail 15 years ago for a class c misdemeanor. I was told it was "extra precaution" as was stated by whoever it was that told him, and that it applied to "anyone who has been to jail, ever".

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  2. Very interesting since, according to TDCJ policy an ex-offender can be HIRED to work there after 7 years have passed since their time in prison. Someone really needs to go to the news stations with this. TDCJ is looking at several law suits over this I'll bet!

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    1. Not to nitpick but #6 says otherwise. Also they cannot be hired in a security position.



      Minimum Standards for all Applicants
      1. Must be a citizen of the U.S. or alien authorized to work in the U.S.
      2. Must be at least 18 years of age.
      3. Must possess a High School Diploma from an accredited senior high school or equivalent or a state-issued General Education Development ( GED ) certificate.
      4. Must not be on probation for any criminal offense.
      5. Must not have pending charges for any criminal offense or have an outstanding warrant.
      6. Convicted felons (or those convicted of an equivalent offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice) do not become eligible for consideration until 15 years have elapsed since termination of sentence.

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    2. "Additional Minimum Standards for Correctional Officer and other Security Applicants"
      1. Never have been convicted of a felony. (well that rules out all ex-offenders)

      2. No Class A or Class B misdemeanor convictions within the last 5 yrs

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    3. Also no drugs arrests ever!! Won't be hired as a CO..

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  3. This will be yet another lawsuit that the TDCJ can't {and shouldn't} win. . .
    LBG

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  4. AND... it's TDCJ policy not to share your password with ANYONE. Of course that's your work computer password, but...

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  5. How should I say it, "NO" it ain't happening.

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  6. I don't think that TDCJ would even stoop to this level... If so, then hell NO I would rather tell them to give me a check from unemployment than give up a password so they can access my info, if they want to see my friends, then send a friend request, maybe I'll accept it, or maybe I won't... Pay for my Password, then maybe I will make enough money to sue the ass out of the State for the privacy issue....

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  7. F#&k tdc and their bulls##t this makes me sick.

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  8. Looks like The U.S. Senate has joined in against the general practice of employers who require this and or discipline employees over refusal. We have a huge story on the way covering this topic. Stay tuned....

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    1. If this happens, we will have more Correctional Officers quitting. good luck Beeville and Dalhart.

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  9. Quite frankly, I would LOVE to see the agency try to pursue a Rule 42 violation in an instance associated with someone where there was not an active sentence (either with a person inside OR where the individual was on paper). PD22 (revision 12, the most recent revision offered to employees via HR) restricts the improper relationships to CURRENT offenders.

    As to the claim that mediation is not available, I would beg to differ. We represented a client approximately two years ago who had a termination recommendation for a Rule 42 and we were successful in getting their position back when we demonstrated the agency had failed to meet its burden of proof related to the relationship (minimal as that burden might be under PD22).

    Even the Texas Workforce Commission recognizes how clueless much of the TDCJ hierarchy is when it comes to even managing its own policies. I had a hearing officer defer to me in a benefits hearing last year instead of listening to HR even though I had not worked for the agency in over a decade. As an aside, the former employee got their unemployment benefits.

    Sooner or later, TDCJ has GOT to realize that their bean-counter mentality of management is costing them experienced employees who simply want to be left alone to do their job and carry out the stated mission of the agency...

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  10. Good post.. we are actively seeking attorneys who wish to participate in dealing with some of these employment issues. We are also having issues with TDCJ retaliating against some of our website staff (imagine that) for just simply being affiliated in bringing out the truth. If you are an attorney, or have contact with one that may be interested in hearing some stories and taking possible cases, let us know. Email us at admin@thebackgate.org. We have an attorney that works with the site as necessary but would love to create a network for employee issues. It will get you a free ad on the site as well for employee contact!..

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  11. What's next, having offenders search us before as we enter the prison everyday? Slowly, but steadily, TDCJ is putting it's employees on the same level as the offenders. Am I becoming owned by the State? I have been warned constantly about my Fb. Either clean up my fb friends list or risk being terminated. I have learned that my cousin's husband (in his forties) spent 7 months in a TDCJ facility when he was 19 years old. Even though that was over 20 years ago, I had to drop him from my friends list. I need my job! A school mate that I had reconnected with, spent 16 months, 11 years ago. Dropped! Thank goodness he let me know when I put my disclaimer up, asking for any ex-offenders to please delete me from their list. I'm a good person, a good employee, and I take my job seriously. TDCJ has gone too far....again.

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    1. Taking care of two little ones and my job as a Correctinal Officer leaves little time to socialize. Fb was a way for me to communicate with the outside world without leaving the house. After being reminded in turnout of the consequences of unknowingly having a ex-offender on my list, I deleted my fb account. Feeding my children is more important than fighting TDCJ over this. It makes me angry, frustrated, and sad that TDCJ has stooped this low. I would never befriend a ex-offender that I came in contact with as a Correctional officer. Give me at least a little credit for that. I tried the disclaimer status on fb. I asked that anyone had spent time in a tdcj facility please let me know. To my surprise I was private messaged by a woman who had been a neighbor of my family when I was a child. She took my sister and I under her wing after the death of my mom. She told me she had spent one year of her life as a inmate. Wow! That's when it hit me. I could be fired for having her on my fb. Are there more on my friends list that I don't know about? So, I said goodbye to facebook. We wonder why the public and the media are always so negative about Correctional Officers. TDCJ reminds them through things like this, that we are not to be trusted. Yes, there are bad apples but more times than not, they are weeded out. TDCJ has made it loud and clear, they are my Mom, Dad, God and Dictator. I do what they say or leave.

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  12. says that Seashores says this is just another way TDC is "bigazzing" its employees. You have got to stand up against some things. This is one of them. If I do have family on my FB page that have been locked up then that is my business. What makes my fb page any different then me working here? So it's ok if I have family previously or currnetly locked up while I work here, but I cant have them on my FB page? WTF? Like the previous post said. The policy states "current", and as long as you have them in your HR file and you've notified proper authority, there isnt anything they should be able to do. I challenge TDC to demand me for my social media or personal info. TDC needs to be worried about the millions of $'s being wasted daily on non-sense. They need to be worried about proper training and having their supervisors learn how to talk/treat employees. This kind of B/S is the very reason I will burn the administrations azz every chance I get.
    BTW....ex inmates can hire on here, but there are just a few selected positions such as counselers and mentors that they are allowed to hire on as.

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  13. Really! Lets worry more about why when we went to 12 hr shifts our sick time remains at 8 hrs. Where is the other 4 hrs and is that fraud or theft. ( Guess OIG better investigate)?

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  14. Glad Im retiring in 6 months,Its a shame after 20 years to see what has happened to this Agency.

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  15. My wife's father is an offender in the TDCJ, does this mean I'm expected to delete my wife and her family?

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    1. workin at the wallsDecember 9, 2012 at 5:21 PM

      no silly... u just write an I.O.C. to the warden. they dont expect u to give up ur family.

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  16. Can I be so bold as to make a suggestion ?
    Come to the England, UK to work, you will find better conditions & just a tad more sensible management. To say nothing of a better class of inmate (said with a smile). Also we are crying out for good officers.
    In the UK a Prison Officer is encouraged to become friendly with the inmates under his / her wing, I little different to the US.

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    1. Does it pay any better and what benefits are there?

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  17. TDCJ doesn't believe it's officers have rights. 15 years ago we would have been joking about having to take our boots and belts off and slicing up our bananas and grapes now look what's happened. TDC is not proactive. It is reactive. It used to be better and it seems like the longer I'm in the harder it's getting. I agree with we aren't treated much better than the inmates. Going on my 15 th year and things have changed so much and sadly for the worse. A few of my old school friends have been locked up. If the relationship was established prior to their incarceration there isn't much TDC can do granted I also don't go around to EVERY person I meet "I work for the prison system , you're not a ex inmate are you?". The worst part of my day is turnout.

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  18. I understand they don't want officers being friends with inmates on their units and former inmates from their units or the officer being involved in any of the prison gang type stuff and criminal activity. But this friend of friend of friend thing is preposterous. Most officers don't announce to everyone in the world where they work as that is not safe to do especially in that line of work. Odds are everyone knows someone who is in prison. I think the base reason could be good, but going all total control on the officers is not good. TDCJ does not need anyone's passwords for any reason. I could understand even something like an annual or random page check which still seems weird but would help to deter guards becoming buddy buddy with inmates/former inmates.

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