Huntsville, Tx (FOX 44) – The Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced Wednesday morning that it took what was termed “swift and immediate action” to address a rise in dangerous contraband and drug-related inmate homicides.

This led to an immediate lockdown and comprehensive search of all correctional facilities within the TDCJ.

According to the announcement, the volume of illegal narcotics entering the system has substantially increased over the last five years. This directly impacts the safety of staff and inmates.

Additionally, the number of inmate-on-inmate homicides have increased in 2023. It is believed that the majority of the incidents are tied back to illegal drugs.

The lockdown was system wide. 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.

To assist in contraband detection and outside funding related to contraband, TDCJ will be deploying additional resources. Specialized search teams and narcotic dogs will be deployed to units and staff will be subject to enhanced search procedures.

All persons entering TDCJ facilities at all locations will undergo comprehensive searches.

Due to the fact staff will be concentrating on these search efforts, visitation will be cancelled until further notice. Inmates will still have access to the phone system and tablets.

Once these comprehensive searches are complete, normal operations will resume. In addition, mail procedures within the system are getting a major change.

TDCJ is completing the rollout of the digital mail program. Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in paper soaked in K2 or methamphetamines coming into TDCJ facilities. The digital mail program will halt this contraband being sent through traditional mail. All inmate mail should now be addressed and sent to the Digital Mail Center. All mail received this week will be delivered to the digital mail processing center.

All U.S. Mail for inmates at the rollout units should be sent to:

Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Inmate’s Full First and Last Name + TDCJ Number
PO Box 660400
Dallas, TX 75266-0400

All mail received this week will be delivered to the digital mail processing center.

Incoming mail for all inmates will be sorted, scanned and uploaded to the inmate’s secure tablet. These messages and photos will be scanned in color, and can be saved to the tablet to be permanently available for the inmate to enjoy. Exceptions to this include legal mail; certified mail; media mail; and books, magazines, packages, and other subscriptions from verified or publishers, which should be sent to the unit.

Inmates who do not have a tablet will receive black and white printed copies of their correspondence. The process for outbound mail has not changed.

For more information, you can contact Securus Customer Service at 1 (800) 844-6591.