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An employee publication of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
September/October 2015
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Message from TBCJ Chairman Wainwright

By Dale Wainwright, TBCJ Chairman

Judge Dale Wainwright, TBCJ Chairman
Dale Wainwright

On August 26, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed Tom G. Fordyce, Derrelynn Perryman and myself to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, replacing Oliver J. Bell, Carmen Villanueva-Hiles and Janice Harris Lord, whose terms expired this year. It was also my honor to be named chairman. I thank Mr. Bell, Ms. Villanueva-Hiles and Ms. Lord for their service to the State and the Department, and express my personal gratitude to Oliver Bell for sharing his experiences and insights as chairman with me.

When Governor Abbott asked me to serve, I immediately realized it would be a privilege to be associated with thousands of men and women across Texas who make such an important contribution to public safety, and a special honor to be appointed to the TBCJ.

In my brief time serving on the TBCJ, I have enjoyed getting to know Executive Director Brad Livingston and many of the Department's senior staff, and have been impressed with their commitment and professionalism. I look forward to meeting many more TDCJ employees in the future as I tour correctional facilities, visit parole offices and observe the critical support functions which, as any businessman or administrator knows, cannot be taken for granted. I also look forward to being part of and helping to lead the ongoing success that this State, the Department and the TDCJ workforce have achieved. Decreasing crime and recidivism rates, declining offender populations, agency-wide accreditation from the American Correctional Association and meeting PREA standards are all notable accomplishments, and I anticipate there will be many more.

The TDCJ's critical mission and the vast scope of its responsibilities make it unique in many ways. Undoubtedly, there is much to learn. You should know that as men and women who work for this Department, you already have the gratitude of Texans across the State and my respect, admiration and appreciation, as you perform a vital public service. As you continue to meet the challenges of supervising and treating offenders in secure institutions and in our communities, you make a difference. The lives of many Texans are better because of what you do.

Outstanding performance leads to high expectations, and our vital responsibilities demand them. I, therefore, have high expectations for the continued success of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Your continued commitment, dedication and hard work are appreciated.

Editor's note: The Honorable Dale Wainwright is a managing partner of the Austin office of the international law firm Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. He is an appellate lawyer representing clients in appeals of complex commercial disputes of all types in state and federal courts. Prior to joining Bracewell, Wainwright served on the Texas Supreme Court for 10 years. Before serving on the Supreme Court, he began his judicial career in 1999 when he was appointed by Governor George W. Bush to serve as Presiding Judge of the 334th Judicial District Court in Houston. Prior to becoming a jurist, he represented clients at trial and in appeals for more than a decade. He is in his twenty-seventh year of practice as an attorney and jurist.

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