Violence, drug related inmate murders trigger lockdown of entire Texas prison system

The TDCJ also cited a “substantial increase” in the volume of narcotics being smuggled into Texas prisons which directly impacts both inmates and staff.

AUSTIN, Texas — A rise in dangerous contraband, violence and drug related inmate murders has triggered a lockdown of the entire Texas prison system.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is instituting an “immediate lockdown and comprehensive search” of all prisons in the state according to a news release from the agency.

The move comes after there have been 16 inmates killed by other inmates this year. Prison officials say they believe the majority of those murders can be tied to drugs,

The agency also cited a “substantial increase” in the volume of narcotics being smuggled into Texas prisons which directly impacts both inmates and staff.

“A lockdown is a necessary response to confront the root causes of this crisis, enhance security measures, and ensure the well-being of all individuals within our agency,” TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier was quoted as saying in the release.

The TDCJ says they are also taking the following measures detect and prevent dangerous contraband from getting into prisons…

  • Systemwide Lockdown: Each facility will limit the movement of inmates and their contact with those outside the prison. Inmates and staff will undergo intensified searches to intercept and confiscate contraband.
  • Digital Mail: TDCJ is completing the rollout of the digital mail program. Effective September 6, 2023, inmate mail will be sent to the digital mail center, scanned, and uploaded to the tablets.  Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in paper soaked in K2 or methamphetamines coming into our facilities.
  • Tiplines: TDCJ is establishing dedicated tiplines for inmates, staff and families to report any suspicious activities or information related to contraband.
  • Increased K9 Searches and Other Technology: Specialized search teams and narcotic dogs will be deployed to units and staff will be subject to enhanced search procedures.
  • Comprehensive Searches: All persons entering our facilities at all locations will undergo comprehensive searches.
  • Increased Drug Testing: A heightened drug testing protocol will be implemented to identify individuals involved in drug-related activities.

This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

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