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January February 2009

Employee pay raises top priority for legislative session

Although the Department of Criminal Justice will be seeking additional appropriations for such important items as contraband detection screening and video surveillance technology, enhanced reentry services for releasing offenders and the renovation and repair of existing facilities, salary increases for TDCJ staff remain the agency’s highest legislative priority for new funding, according to Executive Director Brad Livingston.

Herb gardens have offenders growing thyme while doing time

Some offenders are growing thyme while doing time in Texas.

Thyme, an aromatic shrub used to season such dishes as eggs, lima beans, potatoes and poultry, is just one of the herbs being grown in small gardens at nearly 100 TDCJ units across the state. And for the past two years, the most productive of the springtime gardens have been recognized by Lee College through a statewide judging contest.

In Texas drug courts, actions speak louder than words

Actions speak louder than words in Texas drug courts.

Take the case of a teary-eyed probationer who tells a judge in Houston that if not for the stress brought on by her mother’s recent illness, she wouldn’t have used cocaine again. The judge is sympathetic but sends her to jail for 10 days to think about her actions.

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