All Texas Department of Criminal Justice prisons have been placed on lockdown until further notice over increased drugs and prisoner homicides.
On Wednesday, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced that they were “implementing an immediate lockdown and comprehensive search of all correctional facilities.”
Visitation is also canceled at all facilities until the searches are completed.
“Over the last five years, the volume of illegal narcotics entering the system has substantially increased,” the department said in a press release. “This directly impacts the safety of staff and inmates. Additionally, this year the number of inmate-on-inmate homicides have increased. It is believed that the majority of the incidents are tied back to illegal drugs.”
The department said that during the 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.”
TDCJ is also completing a rollout of a digital mail program.
“Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in paper soaked in K2 or methamphetamines coming into our facilities,” the press release said. “The digital mail program will halt this contraband being sent through traditional mail. Effective September 6, 2023, all inmate mail should be addressed and sent to the Digital Mail Center. All mail received this week will be delivered to the digital mail processing center.”
Specialized search teams and narcotic dogs will also be deployed to units, and staff will be subject to “enhanced search procedures.”
Inmates will still have access to the phone system and tablets.
“Once these comprehensive searches are complete, normal operations will resume,” the TDCJ said.