Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fwd: TDCJ lays off more than 500, Puts public safety as risk

From: "TSEU Broadcast" <>
Date: February 23, 2011 3:57:26 PM CST
To: <>
Subject: TDCJ lays off  more than 500, Puts public safety as risk
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      Contact: Mimi Garcia

January 7, 2011                                                                                   512-448-4225 (office)

512-814-9347 (cell)




TDCJ lays off more than 500, Puts public safety at risk

Today the Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced their plan to cut more than $40 million from their FY2011 operating budget and lay off more than 550 staff. Over 400 of the layoffs come from administrative and support positions in the agency's parole and correctional institutional divisions. However, 155 of the layoffs come from the proposed elimination of Project RIO, which helps to reintegrate ex-offenders into the workforce.

Project RIO has been shown to diminish a former inmate's likelihood of returning to prison and increase their chances of holding down sustainable employment. "This move by the agency will have a big impact on public safety in Texas," said Mike Gross, Vice-President of the Texas State Employees Union. "Fewer support staff in parole mean that more parole officers will be having to do more and more with already growing case loads. The elimination of Project RIO just means we'll be seeing more offenders end back up in prison."

This latest blow comes in the wake of the Texas Education Agency's announcement yesterday that they will begin laying-off an unknown number of employees.

Governor Perry asked agencies to find an additional 2.5% to cut in FY 2011 to make up for the current $4 billion short fall. "We're putting the public at risk with these kinds of cuts," said Gross. "This is why we need the legislature to find new sources of revenue, use the Rainy Day Fund, and maximize all federal funds. This is just the tip of the iceberg for what our state will be facing in a few months."



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