People should be given credit for their rehabilitation efforts and hard work to transform their lives. Since each person and set of circumstances is unique, they should be evaluated on an individual basis, rather than categorized by the crime they are serving time for. After a certain time, staying in prison becomes detrimental to the people who are trying to rebuild their lives, and the communities that were left behind.
TDCJ realizes that making it easier for family members to visit loved ones behind bars strengthens the reentry social safety nets. But this also requires TDCJ to honor and engage the natural support networks that all returning citizens have: their family and community.
The TDCJ removal policy needs to be rewritten so that family members are only removed from a visitation list for the most troubling situations such as bringing drugs into a facility.
Criminal justice advocates and the families of Texas inmates are calling for independent oversight of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to help spot systemic issues before they once again result in tragic circumstances or costly litigation.