Saturday, September 29, 2012

TDCJ now says " Having a friend on facebook thats a current or former inmate does not constitute a breach of security." After Backgate story thats now viral.

UPDATE: Story now trending on Yahoo, See the video story HERE! 

By Tonya Peters, Backgate Website

Just over a week ago, the Backgate broke the story of a then Huntsville unit Sergeant who was terminated after unit officials found him to be "friended" on facebook by a current inmate. That inmate was a friend long before incarceration. Heath Lara, the Sergeant in question did a little investigating of his own and found several other staff members on the same inmate's facebook friends list. Including TDCJ CFO Jerry McGinty.

 Lara was then of course re-instated during mediation, undoubtedly to avoid having to recruit a new TDCJ CFO. The story was picked up by The Houston Press, the Associated Press, and the Austin American Statesman among others. Many others out there have not been as lucky. They are still unemployed after run ins dealing with social media issues and free speech. I suspect many of them may just have a valid suit to file against the TDCJ after the latest issues. You can see the Statesman story HERE. And also the Associated Press article HERE. Keep the stories coming. Check out our story that started it all from back in April HERE.Or our breaking story from last week that lead to it all HERE.


  1. Am i reading this right. Having a friend on Facebook that's a "current" inmate does not constitute a breach?

  2. That's what TDCJ has stated. Meaning that " That alone" is not enough to prove corruption or breach of security. They have to actually prove it now and not use the policy selectively against employees who either speak out against them, or who they don't like. It can be used to prove corruption along with other evidence, but in itself, no. Unfortunately it may aid the corrupt to a point, but at a cost of losing privacy rights for everyone else that's not corrupt, i think it's a wise decision by TDCJ. It would have never stood up in federal court.

  3. Seashores says that: It's OK.....It's not like the incarcerated have smart/cell phones where they can actually communicate with the bosses.

  4. How does a current inmate have a Facebook for you to friend? I think they mean former inmate. Anyways, I am a former inmate and I have at least 27 TDCJ employees as FB friends. I was in for financial crimes (i.e. Enron type stuff) years ago and made a ton of money after I got out. Guards and Wardens still contact me for advice every so often and I still give it.