Friday, November 1, 2013

TDCJ still dangerously short of staff


 TDCJ claims they are still over 3,000 Officers short statewide as of October 1st. Over 5 Million dollars was spent on overtime for the McConnell unit in South Texas for the month of September alone. So what gives and how do we correct these issues ? Weigh in as we try to get insight!

45 comments:

  1. WELL I FEEL THAT EVER SENSE THEY STARTED THE "PAT" TEST FOR A REQUIREMENT TO KEEP YOUR JOB IT HAS RAN ALOT OF THE OLDIER OFFICERS THAT STAYED WITH "TDCJ" THROUGH ALL THE GOOD AND BAD TIMES ARE NOT AROUND WHICH NOW THEY ARE HIRING ALOT OF PEOPLE THAT REALLY DON`T GIVE A DAM ABOUT WORKING LONGTERM FOR THE STATE BECAUSE ITS LOSING ALL OF THE PERKS TO WORK FOR THEM SLOWLY.....

    THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF OFFICERS:

    1ST- THE OLDIER ONES THAT HAVE THE KNOW HOW TO GET THE JOB DONE AND ARE THERE TO THE END...

    2ND- THE ONES THAT HAVE BEEN THERE AND PLAN ON USING THIS AS A STEPPING STONE TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSES.

    3RD- THE NEW ONE THAT DONT CARE IF THE JOBS IS DONE RIGHT MOST OF THE TIME.

    BECAUSE SOMEONE IS OLDIER AND CANT RUN AS FAST AS OTHERS OR CANT DO AS MANY PUSHUP OR SITUPS . DON`T MAKE THEM A BAD OFFICER BUT IT HAS MADE MANY OF THE ONES THAT WOULD HAVE STAYED AND COULD PASS THE KNOWLEDGE ON TO THE NEWER OFFICER HAVE GONE WHICH NOW HAS RESULTED IN LOW MORAL AND A BAD TASTE IN OFFICERS MOUTHS TO SEE HOW THEY WILL BE TREATED WHEN THEY GET OLD ALSO..... BECAUSE WITHOUT THE OLDIER OFFICER THAT SHOWED ME THE ROPES WHEN I CAME INTO THE SYSTEM OVER 14 YEARS AGO TAKING ME UNDER THEIR WING I PROB WOULDNT BE HERE ANYMORE EITHER...

    WAKEUP TEXAS SEE THAT IF YOU LOSE ALL OF YOUR OLDIER OFFICER LIKE WHAT IS HAPPENING THEN WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF NEW ONES TO HIRE WHAT KIND OF SHAPE WILL WE BE IN......

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    1. Agreed, I retired last year with my 20, alot of the officers that could retire are. Just a sign of the times!!

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  2. I see the problem getting worse. Texas is aggressively issuing licenses to oil companies to operate in north and south. There is a strong believe that at the end of this decade, the United State is not going to depend on oil from the Mid-east. With massive employment in the oil sector and better pay, a lot of people including TDCJ employer will be moving towards that sector. Money is not the only issue pushing employees away from TDCJ, the offender population and their families are becoming more powerful and are almost controlling the affairs of the prison. The guards are now being progressively seen as the bad guys and people that are there because they cannot get a real job. As low as their pay is, lawmakers in Texas chip away from their benefit every legislative session. I foresee a real EMERGENCY in the next few months. one that will force an emergency legislative meeting to address pay raise and prison conditions.

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  3. The legislature doesn't care if officers get killed. Its not their butt on the line...

    CO's keep voting for the same losers who stiff them every chance. How many times did Rick Perry win Walker County, Anderson County, and Bee County. Perry's hand picked replacement is Abbott and he will win these idiots votes, even though Wendy Davis strongly supports state employees.

    TDCJ will continue to just cover up the incidents and call them "isolated events" and talk about how it really isn't that dangerous.

    Livingston and Collier should have asked for a larger pay raise for officers instead of downplaying the staffing.

    FYI the agency is over 3,700 officers short and growing as the oil field continues to push into North and East Texas.

    Where's the leadership on the Board of Criminal Justice??? Are they too busy trying to appoint their sister-in-law to the board????

    Some heads really need to roll in this agency and I hope there will be someone with leadership qualities who would step up and take charge of this agency, instead of the bean counters that are in place.

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  4. There are many (thousands) of us at the 19+ mark as well. Most of the folks I started with are looking for the quickest exit possible, both for some of the reasons listed above and others.
    It is TDCJ, and it's going to get worse. The lies from our administration (no money for raises or proper equipment) haven't changed in 20 years.

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  5. then you have wardens like JIMMY SMITH that knows it all and makes you feel like s**t everyday!! how do people like that promoted?

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  6. Bringing in people with military service or college degrees as COIII - Better than nothing, but not nearly enough. Having a BS or DD214 doesn't mean you also have common sense.

    Offering recruiting bonuses to work at chronically understaffed units - Better than nothing, but not nearly enough.

    Building staff housing at chronically understaffed units - Better than nothing, but not nearly enough.

    Giving TDCJ a 5% raise - Better than nothing, but not nearly enough.

    Bringing back the Physical Agility Test - Better than nothing, but not nearly enough.

    It's going to take stopping the welfare office to training academy pipeline, paying COs the same as DPS, running a slick PR campaign to boost the public image of COs, mass firings of trashcan bosses, and a completely revamped hiring process to save TDCJ. Nothing short of that is going to do much good.

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  7. NO matter how many you hire or what their back ground is you'll never keep them. The ADMIN. talks a good game ethics core values but if you don't practice what you preach your pissing in the wind. I see it EVERYDAY they get up in turn out say one thing then its back to the same old sh-t favoritism and sleeping with the help. Until the rules apply to everyone the same from BRAD on down you can weed out everyone you want too and at the end of the day your still working short handed.

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  8. The real problem with TDCJ is there are to many officers with rank and don't know how to conduct themselves in a professional manner,to many captains,and majors and wardens abusing there power for sex money and drugs and a lot of officers are seeing that and who wants to hang around for that when they can go work in the oil field? The big problem with TDCJ is poor leadership,lack of motivation in officers, not to mention poor training.

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    1. From the Desk of BoBoTheBeaten:

      Power, sex, money and drugs are the reasons I stay here.

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    2. You mean, no leadership, no motivation for staff, and just handfuls of threats.

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  9. MY QUESTION IS WHY DONT THE UNION AND THE BACKGATE COME TOGETHER AND WORK TOWARD REALLY PUTTING IT OUT IN THE PUBLIC !!!!! HOW SHORT TDCJ IS......

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    1. I agree.... Them together can get the message out to more people!!!!!!

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  10. Well here we are again.... staff shortages! I have now been with TDCJ for almost 10 years. TDCJ was short when I hired on and will continue to be short till we are treated better than the convicted felons. I have served my country, worked many different jobs, and quit several better paying jobs. March is my last month and I can say now that I have been in this career field. Let the feds have it. People (upper administration) are crazy and the state can have it.

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  11. I say hold all of the top brass accountable for what's going on during their shift, fire every one of them and put in leaders who know how to lead. Leadership in the agency is all about kissing that hairy arse and not about leading.

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    1. Desk of BoBoTheBeaten:

      How exactly are you holdling them accountable? You have to have power and control over someone to hold them accountable. You can blame them, but you can't hold them accountable.

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  12. If they want to keep officers then pay them accordingly. Quit promoting officers that barely worked buildings when they were officers. Get the rank to stop playing favorites and put officers with the experience and time in the spots they actually earned. How do you think our morale is going to be when officers with years in the system are by passed by CO IIIs with just months in the system because the rank "likes" them? And what's the point in having officers with years in the system re-certify on the rifle range when 2/3 of them have NEVER even seen the inside of a tower or any other position requiring the use of firearms? The majority of the officers I work with now don't even know where to go to have one issued - something EVERYONE of us should know because they never have the opportunity. Holding a weapon that one day in in-service is usually all the opportunity ever offered. Also we're hiring kids right of high school that won't stay a year and those that do are usually just in a transitional stage - they're going to school and leaving TDCJ just as soon as they have a degree in hand. Yet it's primarily the ones they know are leaving that they train for primary positions, the rest of us just work the trenches and are supposed to have smiles on our face.

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    1. You have to understand the temptation for supervisors to put relatively new officers in primary positions. A new officer who is enthusiastic and has a little bit of sense often seems like someone you want to have on utility. There are experienced officers with a little bit of sense you could put on utility instead, but many of them have a tendency to disappear.

      As a new supervisor I got a couple of those enthusiastic new bosses who had some snap, and I started training them for those primary positions. It was great at first. Then I learned a tough lesson. Bringing people up too fast ruins them. It's a nasty tradeoff. Do you want to put the newer, more motivated boss in the spotlight, or the more experienced less motivated boss in the spotlight? It's about motivation, and it's damned hard to make COIV or COV and still have much drive or motivation. Supervisors don't have many good motivational tools available. Other than a little recognition here and there, a nice contact log entry, and maybe approving a leave app from time to time, what can a supervisor do for that solid COV? Can't give them a raise or a bonus.

      As far as promotions go, you have to think about what supervisors do day in and day out. The job has become about paperwork as much as anything else. That's not how it should be, but that's how it is. The experienced bosses don't need much supervising. Most of the new bosses, the kids right out of high school, think they know everything by the time they are done with OJT. Make sure the job is getting done, back your bosses up when they need it, and be sure to turn out good paperwork to keep the wardens and lawyers happy. Your post, both grammar and content, is well written. You have apparently spent you time in the trenches. Go up for rank.

      PS - TDCJ firearms training is totally inadequate. Inadequate to the point of life threatening. I've seen a picket boss get shot in the leg by the officer relieving them.

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  13. Things that COs tolerate for the priviledge of working at TDCJ: Terrible pay, unsatisfactory working conditions, inferior supervisors (from the top down to the bottom), policies that don't make sense and created by people who have never worked a pod, regulations/laws that support offenders, favoritism, harassment, sexual harassment from offenders in the form of verbal comments and blatant masturbation, retaliation, abuse, false/exaggerated allegations (for example, offender grievances or being targeted by a supervisor), dirty/substandard staff (re:low hiring standards because TDCJ is now desperate) which causes a poor public impression, stress and unrecognized/unacknowledged PTSD, calling in overtime officers so that offender recreation can occur but not calling in overtime so that officer breaks can occur at a reasonable time and duty positions can be adequately staffed.

    It seems as though people are looking for one magic solution when a single, individual, magic "pill" does not exist.

    There are many things wrong that cause someone to leave, as I have listed in my comment. I don't claim to have the answers, though. My impression is that we who work at a prison, however, work in the most unappreciated branch of law enforcement. When they run out of people to hire, maybe things will change. But probably not. A couple common but lame excuses: "You knew what you were getting into when you applied to work here," or "If you can't do the job under these conditions, then quit and find another job." Basically, those statements blame us, "the victims." You saw how quickly things changes when a senator was threated via cell phone. But, I guess we who work in the trenches who get threatened every single day in person aren't important enough. Oh, well. Enough of my rant. Ya'll have a good day.

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    1. thank all of you for your service

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  14. When the state starts paying the staff as Correctional Officers that is what they will get, as for now they are getting guards. Don't get me wrong they're are some good Correctional Officers out there only because of their own personal convictions. You do get what you pay for sometimes. I do not see how over 5 million dollars could have been spent on one unit in a month, someone better recalculate that. If so that unit needs to be shut down.

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  15. $5,000,000 overtime for one month, at one unit. If a boss makes $3,300 per month, that works out to $19 per hour, and $28.50 for each overtime hour. $5,000,000 / $28.55 = 175,131 overtime hours for the month. Divide that by 31 days and you get 5,650. Divide that by 24 hours and you get 235. That means that at any given time, at that one unit, you had 235 bosses there working overtime. Those numbers don't make any sense. A 2250 unit like McConnell you would never expect to have more than 175 bosses there at any time, even if the unit is fully staffed and has no call ins and no vacation.

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    1. I can tell you are not the brightest light out there. The 235 would be the number of hours of overtime worked in a 24 hour period, not 235 bosses. You would have to have the monthly staffing numbers to determine how this breaks down per boss per day!

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  16. Correctional Officers got a 5% pay increase or 2.5% this year and 2.5% next year. But no pay raise for the previous two years at all. Most citizens don't have a clue what Correctional Officers do and quite frankly don't care. The public is the one that benefits from well staffed Correctional facilities and the Offenders do too. But the long hours, hot miserable environment, poor pay, and degrading character assassinations both verbally and tauntingly horrific are simply hard to deal with as a human being. Senator Whitmire, I pray you live a hundred years because you are the only true friend of the TDCJ Officer. Too often, folks allow what is printed in a paper to dictate opinion for all Correctional Officers which is unrealistically unfair and based on ignorance. TDCJ does only what it must based upon Lawsuits it has lost in the court systems. What new programs have been implemented in the last 5 years to benefit all Correctional Officers? None, and there never will be because they simply don't care about the Correctional Officer as he can be told to leave and "don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out". Want to see the real stuff-well, here it is-http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/documents/finance/Agency_Strategic_Plan_FY2013-17.pdf Try appendix F on pay for Correctional Officers and did you know that 46.7% of all incarcerated Offenders come from only 5 counties-Bexar, Harris, Tarrant, Dallas, and Travis. This is the largest populated counties for white people too...need I say more?

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  17. Better yet when you have Wardens that was promoted because of friendship and minority status like the current Hospital Galveston warden. He sits in his office with a mirror next to his self and while trying to talk to him he continually looks in the mirror at his self as if to give himself a Stuart Smallie affirmation "I am good enough, and handsome enough and dog gone it people likes/respect me." How can the officers take someone like him seriously as a leader when all he does is send his little mini me Sgt. out to spy on any and everything besides doing his job. As long as TDCJ promotes idiots that can't pass a basic competency mental evaluation it won't get any better. His little mini me has quit the system several times due to mental distress and before its over with he will be promoted thru the ranks by this same Warden stomping on plenty of good honest hard working officers that might deserve better. TDCJ claims to look at reliability and competence but most of the promotions I have seen has no sick time and like this Sgt. had to quit before due to mental issues. I won't be led by an unstable narcissistic midget. There for I quit and will always be against giving civil service employees a raise. Hopefully in the future I can change my mind for the good of the few hardworking people but I can't right now. IDGAF

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  18. Man enough to want job but really not cut out to handle tha mentality of prison.!! Better short handed than having criminal helping criminal

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  19. The tdcj human resource is also full of shit i quit on good terms an wanted to come back they denied me 3 times but keep telling me to reapply now that's bullshit

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    1. wOW THEY DONE ME THE SAME WAY! THEY CAN'T BE SHORT OF STAFF.

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  20. I did my time at the McConnell unit. Why are they not retaining staff? They offer you a bonus but don’t tell you Uncle Sam will tax away 1/3 of it. When you get hired you are promised 4 days on and 4 days off. Then when you arrive at the unit they force you to come in on your last day off for MANDAYORY OVERTIME and write you up if you don’t and they WILL WRITE YOU UP. If they enforced the inmates the way they enforce the mandatory overtime, we probably would not be having this conversation. When I arrived at the unit everything I learned from my previous unit and the academy was like it never mattered. Inmates refusing orders and when rank shows up they don’t think “why is this inmate acting like an idiot?” They arrive at the scene thinking, “what did this rookie officer do to make this inmate act like an idiot.” In other words it’s ALWAYS THE OFFICERS FAULT NOT THE INMATES. The unit itself is very DIRTY most of the pickets do not have functioning air conditioning and during summer it gets HOT. There are roaches everywhere. You have an inmate that was sentenced to 50 years working as a ‘trustee inmate.” Dirty officers everywhere. The cameras are always getting the older good officers in trouble instead of the dirty ones. They pat you down when you enter the facility like if you’re an inmate EVERYDAY and they take FOREVER. The staff is rude and tells you to arrive an hour earlier if you don’t like it. On average you’re at the unit 13 hours a day and when they mandate you to work 5 straight days that makes 65 hours a week that you are literally in prison. The newly hired/promoted people that I saw were two majors from Kennedy and Huntsville, one captain from Briscoe, a 23 year old Lieutenant, a chain officer that was never in the buildings got sergeant, and lets not forget that infamous sergeant that was FIRED as a sergeant then got REHIRED as a lieutenant, and is now a CAPTAIN. What do these people all have in common? They are all WHITE. I heard a white guy on night shift fell asleep in the picket and was written up but when he went in front of the warden he got the “oh don’t worry about it don’t let it happen again” and when a nonwhite officer fell asleep he got the “six months probation and this behavior will not be tolerated.” In the words of a REAL captain I knew, “that units been F#$%ed up for 20 years son and there’s nothing you can do about it stay away.” And I should have listened!

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  21. Worked there.... totally fucked up! so true but there's only one thing to do in this situation and the Republicans all over the US knows the answer and now I will share it with you all ....Let's blame Obama!
    he is the only U.S.president in history that will let you blame everything on him, even if it's out of his control.
    Come on people we only got 3 more years left and Hillary may not let you blame her for everything. I blamed Obama for losing a job I blamed Obama for my divorce and he wasn't even president then...Obama loves it when you blame it on him......don't waste a moment people blame it on Obama and I promise you will feel so much better afterwards.

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  22. I worked at Pam lyncher unit, that place is ran by getto rat females. after nearly one yr of 80hrs week working in prison from hell it was time too go. best thing i could ever done.They treat inmates better than you as CO. till now i dunno how i made it when i see so many come and go weeping of the horror. the stench in itself is over whelming, the heat, the crazies new hires and some old timers who been there for yrs ready to snap. all in all this was my worst working experience ever.

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    1. I hear the big Q is still there, assaulting even other staff. The hoodrat comment reminded me of her. Worked there 10 years ago.

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  23. I worked at TDCJ ten years and I did receive some write ups but I finished them all! None were about being a dirty boss though! I applied about a year ago and they said apply back in a year three times. Yea but they short of staff and I'm a experience officer. I quit working because of family problems! TDCJ has jokes! GOOD LUCK

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  24. Well for one when u scare officers free world charges for something they didn't do.2 choices quit or get charged and they do this when a new fleet of gray come through.I have been on the team for about 4yrs straight always responding to I.c.s being a mentor and teaching my family in Gray but u push us to quit cause we speak up when something is wrong or stand-up for one anotherWE NEED TO STOP THIS PUNK BULLY CRAP AND STAND UP FOR UR FAMILY WE NEED TO BE ONE NOT A VOICE HEAR AND THERE and then have a target on ur back

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  25. After reading these, it's obvious. Most of you are barely competent enough to spell your own names. When you hire people with 6th grade educations, you get people that perform at 6th grader levels. Pay a little bit more, tighten the standards and start to hire people that know how to write a coherent sentence. Hire people that have read a book within the last ten years. Hire people that know you need to be able to climb a set of stairs without passing out at the top. Hire people that jog and workout from three to five times per week (as recommended by the American Heart Association). In other words, start paying a little more and you'll have sharper, healthier employees that will stay awhile. You'll have a more competent and competitive work force...!

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  26. The hire process is to strict

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  27. I am in the p roscess of being hired its been a month still no call.. the job I have now sucks I have to travel all the time for bullshit pay. The 4000 sign on bonus is what made up my mind. Anything that I should be worried about besides crooked officers or irate inmates?

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    1. Ok, first off it is a $4000 sign on bonus, but I can guarantee that you will probably see only $2800. Two years ago I made the same mistake you just made and I learned the hard way.

      Secondly, do not think for one second that the money in that bonus does not have strings attached to it. Most likely, with accepting that money,you will need to work at that unit for twelve months.. or longer. That is how long it was when I did it.

      Thirdly, prepare yourself to be work like a slave. They only offer those bonuses to the units that are REALLY short staffed. Most likely, the unit you chose works twelve hours shifts with a four days on and four days off... Well, that is probably what they will tell you in the academy to bait you in. What is really gonna happen is that you will be required too work either one or two of your days off for MANDATORY OVERTIME. For me, it was my first two days off that I had to work. So, what you have is a six days working with only two days off schedule with all twelve hour shifts. If you can do that longer than a year then more power to you, my friend. I did my year to hold up the contract and ran for the hills as fast as I could. If it is not too late, I would decline that sign on bonus.. I know how good it looks, but I would stray away from that. The last thing you want is to feel trapped at a unit that works you like crazy.. just go there for a little while and then transfer somewhere else if you are really interested in working for TDCJ.

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  28. Tdcj, is really in need of workers, and the ones that are working are getting burnt out. The prisons are really unsafe. We need help! People need there jobs, and the overtime is not much do to the 3 hours that go to time every 9 days. SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE. WE NEED HELP

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  29. I sent my application in to be re-hired, but had a disciplinary before I left. It was for an improper call in procedure. I did not call within the correct time frame because I did not have a phone to call with until later. My phone was broken and the AT&T store did not open until two hours after my shift started.. that is what happened to make a long story short. But how does this affect my chances of being rehired?

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    1. just curious did they approve your applic.

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