What is TDCJ?


Quick Answer

TDCJ is an acronym that stands for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, explains the Community Advancement Network. TDJC has primary responsibility for managing offenders in state prisons, state jails and private correctional facilities that contract with it, although the agency also provides funding and certain oversight of community supervision programs, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. As of 2015, TDCJ manages 109 correctional institutions and three parole confinement facilities.

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Full Answer

TDCJ traces its roots to the Second Texas Legislature in 1848 and the passage of "An Act to Establish a State Penitentiary," notes the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Aside from the penitentiary itself, the act created a governing board of three members to oversee the penitentiary's operations. In 1910, state prison operations transferred to the newly created Board of Prison Commissioners.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927 and oversaw the Texas state prison system until it became the Department of Corrections in 1957, says the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. In 1989, the Texas legislature merged three existing state agencies, the Department of Corrections, the Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Texas Adult Probation Commission, into a single agency with the creation of TDCJ. As of 2011, TDCJ is the largest single state government employer in Texas, reports Becca Aaronson for The Texas Tribune.

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