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Call-Toll Free to Report Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of TDCJ Resources
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Waste, fraud and abuse of state resources costs all taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

The Office of the Inspector General is dedicated to detecting, investigating and prosecuting reports of waste, fraud and abuse of state resources within all divisions of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

If you have any information regarding waste, fraud or abuse of state benefits, equipment, personnel or funds, please contact the Office of the Inspector General or Crime Stoppers toll-free.

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Chairman’s Coin acknowledges hard work, dedication of employees

by Oliver J. Bell, TBCJ Chairman

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front side of Chairman's Coin
back side of Chairman's Coin
Depicted on the coin’s front is the State of Texas seal. On the back, the words - Public Safety, Reintegration and Victim Assistance, three components of the agency’s mission statement - are inscribed along with a notation stating the coin is “Presented by the Chairman for Outstanding Performance.”
I would like to begin this year by expressing my appreciation to the thousands of employees that make up the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Your hard work and dedication to the mission of this agency do not go unnoticed.You are true public servants. Whether it is supervising an offender, administering a program or providing support to the operations of the agency, each of you plays a role in maintaining public safety for the State of Texas. I have never seen a more dedicated group of individuals, and you deserve recognition.

In this spirit, I recently created the Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman’s Coin. The coin, 1 inches in diameter, is meant to provide its recipient a significant acknowledgment of appreciation from the Board.

The giving of a “recognition coin” is a tradition long ingrained in military heritage. Known as a “commander” or “challenge” coin, the military used the coins to salute outstanding performance and acknowledge meritorious achievements. The recognition by a coin in the military dates back to the Boer War at the turn of the 20th century when deserving officers were decorated through the giving of a new sixpence, delivered with a handshake.

The modern-day tradition of the military commander coin began in the Vietnam era. It was during this war that the military began to use specially-minted coins, reflecting specific unit emblems or seals, to promote character and pride amongst the units’ officers.

Being a former army commander, I had the opportunity to give coins to the men and women under my command and I recognized the value of this small, but meaningful token. With the development of the Chairman’s Coin, I now hope to convey that tradition and its value to the agency.

The initial distribution of the TBCJ Chairman’s Coins started this past October during my visits to units and departments across the state. Since then we have also presented coins at Board meetings and during special events held by the agency. In December, I distributed several of these coins to my fellow Board members for their use during future facility and departmental visits. We generally only circulate three to five coins per visit; those who have received them to date are among an elite few within the agency. My hopes are to expand that group to include you and those who serve with you.

The work performed by the TDCJ is remarkable, and it is solely due to its employees. I never let an opportunity pass to spread the word about the magnitude of the responsibilities of this agency and the people who fulfill its mission. As we turn to the employees, shake their hands and pass on a coin of appreciation, my fellow members and I do it with our deepest respect and gratitude.

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