Author Topic: Work assignments for TDCJ inmates  (Read 285 times)

Offline sunrayswench

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Work assignments for TDCJ inmates
« on: May 18, 2014, 01:35:29 am »
TDCJ inmates are required to participate in some form of work assignment, unless they are housed in Ad Seg, Death Row, or have a medical condition that excludes them from working (and is authorised by a medical lay-in pass).

Some of the typical jobs are explained below - if you know of any others, please add to this thread.

Field Crew / Hoe Squad
This job assignment is often considered to be only given as a punnishment to inmates who have been involved in an infraction or illegal behaviour within the prison, but in reality there are many inmates who enjoy working outside and actively ask to remain in the field crew when they could legitimately transfer to a different job.

Typically field crew inmates start their shift around 5.30am unless the weather is foggy, raining, the temperature is below freezing point, or if there is a tornado warning in place, or thunder and/or lightning is present. A field crew consists of around 40 inmates, and they are taken to the fields or gardens where crops need to be tended, or to areas around the prison where weeds and grass need to be cut, ditches cleared or shrub and woodland burned. They work under armed supervision, usually by officers mounted on horseback. They work for around 3-4 hours, with breaks for water consumption (there is usually a water tank brough round to the work area).

When working to harvest crops, inmates are often permitted to eat as much as they wish while working (as long as they continue to work) but they are not permitted to bring food back into the prison buildings. Field crew inmates are strip-searched before they re-enter the prison.

Dining hall food service
Depending on the size of the prison, there may be one or more inmate dining halls, as well as an officers' dining hall. Food service crews usually cover one meal serving, and typically work a 6-8 hour shift. Each member of the crew will have a specific duty during the set-up period, such as lighting the burners under the food trays, or slicing bread. Before the population inmates arrive to be fed, the food service crew usually have time to eat their meal.

When serving food, the service crew are given strict instructions on portion size and if caught giving more than the instructed portion, they risk being disciplined and losing their job assignment. After serving the food, the service crew also assist with clearing tables, filling water jugs in the dining area, sweeping the dining hall floor, and cleaning the food service area ready for the next crew.

Food service crews for the officers' dining hall also perform a limited table waiting service for the officers. This inmate job assignment is only available to inmates with a good disciplinary record.

Window crew

Not all units have a separate specific crew that fixes windows. in some units this function os covered by the general maintenance crews. In units where there are a lot of windows, inmates often break the windows in the summer to increase the air flow around the cells. Window crews typically only work for a few weeks each winter, and they are tasked with repairing any broken windows.

Inmates with an SSI job assignment face particular issues. They are often seen as suspicious by other inmates, as the SSI position is given to those with a good disciplinary record. They also face pressure from other inmates to pass messages and items around the inmate living areas.

The main purpose of an SSI is to keep the communal areas such as day rooms and the runs or walkways between cells clean and tidy. They perform janitorial tasks and may also clean the visit rooms outside of visiting hours, and other areas of the prison.

There and back again....

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