Over 500 Disciplinary Reports Tossed After Quota System Found at Multiple Texas Prisons

On Monday, Texas officials revealed they dismissed over 500 inmate disciplinary cases after the discovery of an illegal quota implemented at several TDCJ prisons.

Less than two weeks after four officials were fired, a fifth person quit after being under investigation for the quota system. The fifth correctional officer was accused of planting a screwdriver in a prisoner’s cell.

Jeremy Desel, spokesperson for Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported, “Violations of TDCJ’s policy will not be tolerated and swift action will be taken if any are found.”

This is welcoming news for inmates and their families since disciplinary reports can delay and even prevent an inmate from obtaining parole. Disciplinary cases can get inmates kicked out of classes or programs required for parole. They can also lose their prison job along with other privileges such as commissary and phone calls.

No one knows the full impact of this many bogus disciplinary cases.

The quota system was discovered at the Ramsey Unit when Capt. Reginald Gilbert ordered correctional officers to write up a certain number of prisoners or face disciplinary consequences. TDCJ officials order the quota system to be disbanded weeks later after it was discovered. An investigation began immediately.

According to Desel, a statewide audit found similar quota systems in at least three units: Lychner State Jail in Atascocita, Travis County State Jail in Austin, and the McConnell Unit in Bee County.

At the state jail in Atascocita, a captain emailed orders for a quota system but it was quickly stopped and resulted in only one disciplinary case which has been removed. The captain was fired in connection with a different disciplinary action.

At the McConnell Unit, officials removed 293 cases that had already been approved and another 83 which were being processed. It was not clear how the quota system started there. A major was disciplined and demoted for the scheme.

In Austin, officials tossed out 91 cases at the state jail. An assistant warden, a captain, and a sergeant were demoted and moved.

At the Ramsey Unit, where the quota system was discovered originally, officials removed 180 disciplinary cases. An inmate’s mother wrote TDCJ officials about guards planting screwdrivers in her son’s cell. This prompted an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General which resulted in the termination of four employees. A fifth employee resigned while under investigation.

Senator John Whitmire, Chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee who works to bring about changes in the criminal justice system, vowed to monitor the situation stating, “We must have zero tolerance for manufactured charges. My fear is that this is not an isolated instance.”

If you have a loved one eligible for parole, we suggest you take a look at our book How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet. The book provides easy to follow instructions and forms for creating a Texas parole package.

How to Prepare a Texas Parole Packet is available in ebook format as an instant download or in bundled form with an ebook and a printed book to be sent to an offender in prison. Since we are an approved vendor there are no issues receiving our books at a Texas jail or prison.

About the Author

Karren Bennett
Karren Bennett is a professional freelance writer covering all aspects of criminal justice and legal affairs. She is also a published author of several books for reluctant readers. Karren is a Texas native and a graduate of Northwestern State University. Learn more about how Karren's writings by visiting her website at KarrenBennett.com.