Saturday, December 1, 2012

Senate Criminal Justice Committee chairmain speaks to the Backgate about TDCJ staffing woes

John Whitmire
By Tonya Peters, Backgate Website

The Backgate, as well as several other sources, have been talking about the current staffing shortages within the TDCJ that have created safety and overtime issues all over the state for months. Millions in paid out overtime dollars and serious safety issues for staff members who are now required to do more with even less. Senator John Whitmire, Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chair who frequently weighs in on TDCJ issues in our forum, stated to the Backgate today that he has long been in favor of increased staffing and raising pay to attract more applicants. Whitmire told us that he needs help from all of us in making that become reality.

"I share your concerns on the TDCJ Corrections Officer shortage and have been very vocal about it.  I have pushed for improved benefits and pay in the past and will do so again this session." Said Whitmire. He went on to say " Keep in mind I am but one member and will need the support of the majority of members as well as state leadership.  I encourage each Correctional Officer to reach out to their Representative and Senator." 

We encourage everyone out there to take a minute to either email or call your state Senators and other Reps and let them know your concerned. You can find your districts Senate member by clicking HERE

And also find and contact your district state Rep by clicking HERE


  1. Wait, Whitmire acknowleded he knew something about TDCJ? that's a first!

  2. Tommy Williams is now the new Finance Chair in the Senate. Whitmire is just the chair of the Criminal Justice Committtee, which can only hear bills relating to Criminal Justice, but not financial funding of those bills. Last time any funding issues came about, Perry's office called on House Rep Debbie Riddle (R), from Tomball, to kill the TDCJ pay raise.

    Jim Pitts is the Appropriations chair in the House and John Otto is the Select Chair on article V funding, which is TDCJ funding.

    If TDCJ officers organize, both Tommy Williams (Montgomery County) and John Otto (Walker, San Jacinto, Libert) have a lot to worry about when it comes to answering to their constituency.

    Don't just vote for someone because they have an (R) next to their name. TDCJ employees need to become more independent in their voting and start voting their pocket book and not for the party.

  3. From the Desk of BoBoTheBeaten:

    Most of us have the same look and reaction when we see our paychecks. Uffffaaaaa! Poor Senator Twitmire...............

    1. All of us that work for TDC have seen our paychecks go down instead of up. Our medical insurance taking a hit. We've had layoffs and budget cutting. People doing 2 jobs instead of one. Which certainly doesn't help the efficiency or the accuracy of those 2 jobs. But Our Govenor tells the country Texas is ahead of the country in job growth. Texas doesn't have any financial woes. Well, his hard working state workers certainly are feeling financial woes. We all need to be one voice in this supposedly rapid recovery of Texas.

    2. The state would rather pay overtime, hire from other countries, or have more academy classes than admit that Correctional Officers are underpaid. Has it ever dawned on Rick Perry that the key to retainment is competitive pay? Probably not since he once stated that we were overpaid babysitters.

  4. In TDCJ, do they tap peoples' phone call because they are offenders of because they have the power to do so?

  5. Yes, 'they' tap employees phone calls. At the ND Unit they come to shift meeting and brag that 'they' are listening in. I just stay off of the phone, unless it is all business, then I make sure to say,"I love my supervisors" before I hang up. I don't know what this has to do with pay though.

  6. Funny he will not grandstand on this issue like he does on everything else, maybe he is just waiting on another convict to call him

  7. Once heard rumor that the ole great one Rick Perry (sarcastically) stated a monkey can do a TDCJ employees' job?

    Over paid babysitter! LOL!!

    Baby has shank, shank goes in babysitter.

    Babysitter my back side!!!!!!!!!!!

    TDCJ employees are badly underpaid, dwindling benefits, staff shortages, and no support.

    As others stated, competitive pay, staffing increases, and better benefits will go a long way in retaining employees.

    Employees need to increase their voting turnout across Texas and unseat officials who are not up to par. Lets all stand up at next election and get voices heard. Rick Perry doesn't listed nor cares.