| Region I Training Major James E. Fields has earned 23 Executive Director’s Recruiting Program awards and the U.S. Savings Bonds that come with them.
Photo by David Nunnelee
Recruiting people on the side to work as correctional officers for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is rewarding to Region I Training Department Major James E. Fields in more ways than one.
First there is the pleasure he gets in introducing men and women to an agency that he said has given him 24 “rewarding” years of employment. Then there’s the satisfaction in knowing that he’s doing his part to help ease the agency’s current officer shortage. Finally, there is the $100 U.S. Savings Bond he deposits for each person he brings to the agency through the Executive Director’s Recruiting Award Program.
With 23 certificates and savings bonds awarded to him over the past year, Fields leads the field of individuals who have recruited correctional officers through the program. More than 3,500 officers have been hired in all since the program’s inception in 1999.
“A lot of it is word of mouth,” Fields said about how he finds prospective recruits. “I get phone calls from parents, some are relatives, and some are former employees who know that I don’t mind helping people get hired on.”
Fields, who works out of the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, also sometimes approaches people to join his profession.
“Sometimes I’ll see college students or I’ll see people on the street that I know are unemployed,” he said. “I would like to bring in as many people as I possibly can.”
Fields thinks of working for TDCJ as “an honorable living with great benefits” and sees his individual recruiting efforts as his duty.
“I think administrators should lead the way in the recruiting process,” Fields said. “That’s why I do it. If this agency has been good to them, it seems to me that they would want to bring somebody in so they too can receive some of the same benefits of working here.”
As for his financial rewards, Fields said he’s waiting for his savings bonds to mature before cashing them in.
“I haven’t done anything with them yet,” he said. “I’m saving them for a rainy day.”
back to top