What is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and its role?
Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) manages the overall operation of the state’s prison system, parole, and state jail systems. It also provides funding, training, and certain oversight of parole. TDCJ is the largest state agency in Texas. Institutional Division (ID) of the TDCJ is responsible for managing and operating the State’s prison system for the confinement of adult felony offenders.
Parole Division (PD) of the TDCJ is responsible for operating the state’s adult parole system and supervising offenders on parole or mandatory supervision. The parole Division does not, however, make decisions to grant, deny, or revoke parole or mandatory supervision. The Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ) governs the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Its nine non-salaried members serve staggered six-year terms and are appointed by the Governor.
The Board is required by statute to meet once per calendar quarter. The nine members are appointed by the Governor to oversee the TDCJ, which provides confinement, supervision, rehabilitation, and reintegration of the state’s convicted felons. TBCJ members have neither jurisdiction over nor input into parole decisions.
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP) is an 18-member board with constitutional and statutory authority to approve or deny a parole release, to determine the rules and conditions of release, to revoke a releasee’s parole or mandatory supervision, and to make executive clemency recommendations.
The primary role of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP) is the discretionary release of eligible inmates sentenced to the Institutional Division to a plan of parole supervision.
In addition, the Board is responsible for determining the conditions of release, imposing any special conditions for parole and mandatory supervision of releasees on a case by case basis. It reviews requests for the Governor to issue a 30-day stay of execution or a pardon, and also makes recommendations to the Governor.