Statistics Prior to 1998
There were 918 attacks on TDCJ staff during the year 1996. These came from aggressive behavior, attacks by inmates, caught-in-between inmates, and unsafe conditions. (Abilene Reporter-News)
Nov., 1997, Beeville. . .Garza West
A 27-year-old prisoner was struck by another inmate and later died because of the injuries. (Corpus Christi Caller)
Oct., 1997, Beeville. . .Garza West
25 yr old inmates beats 80 yr old inmate in shower area of Garza West. The beating caused the inmate to fall and strike his head on a concrete floor, cracking his skull. The died two days later in a local hospital. He was a month away from parole eligibility when he died. (Corpus Christi Caller)
Jun. 26, 1997, Beaumont. . . Stiles Unit
An inmate escaped after he scaled three fences at the Stiles Unit sometime between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. He then stole a maintenance truck from a refining facility about a mile away. Thirty hours later, he was captured when he tried to sell tools from the truck at an auto salvage road owned by a Pearl River (MS) County Sheriff's Department reserve deputy. (San Antonio Express-News)
Jan. 25, 1997, Abilene. . . Robertson Unit
A 31-year-old Robertson Unit inmate died of asphyxiation nearly 30 hours after he lost consciousness during a struggle with two correction officers. (Abilene Reporter-News)
December 13, 1996, Huntsville. . . Estelle Unit
A minimum custody inmate who was serving a 45-year sentence on charges of aggravated theft, escape and theft, reportedly faked an illness and was sent to the Estelle Unit infirmary. Once there, he threw his white inmate uniform in the trash, exposing a second uniform he had colored green with a marker to resemble infirmary scrubs. The inmate reportedly then clipped his inmate identification card backwards to the new green uniform, flashed the card at the unit's front picket tower officer and simply walked out of the prison. Little suspicion was raised, Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials said at the time, because doctors at the prison often wear their ID cards backwards so inmates cannot read their personal information. Once outside the unit, Russell walked to a nearby house, identified himself as a doctor from the Estelle Unit and asked for a ride into Huntsville. Russell reportedly told the residents, who gave him a ride to Denny's Restaurant in Huntsville, that he had been in a car accident. The inmate also said that he had been drinking and asked the residents not to call the prison. Russell later was arrested on Dec. 23 in Mississippi. (The Huntsville Item)
July 12, 1996, Hamby. . . Middleton Unit
Inmates were clearing brush half a mile northeast of the main gate of the unit when a guard's prisoner count came up one short. He was found lying in a field of maize about seven or eight miles from the prison. He had been at the unit for only three weeks. (Abilene Reporter-News)
July 5, 1996, Abilene. . . Robertson Unit
Inmates were clearing brush half a mile northeast of the main gate of the John Middleton Unit when a guard's prisoner count came up one short. The inmate was found lying in a field of maize about seven or eight miles from the prison about two hours after escaping. This was the first escape from the 3-1/2-year-old prison unit. It was the third of this week's outbreak of escape attempts in the Texas Midwest. (Abilene Reporter-News)
June, 1996, Abilene. . . Robertson Unit
An inmate at the French Robertson Unit next door to the Middleton prison, attempted to flee from a work crew. A guard shot him when he refused to stop. The Harris County prisoner died the next day from the gunshot to his head. He was serving a three-year term for injury to a child. (Abilene Reporter-News)
June, 1996, Abilene. . . Robertson Unit
Two Robertson Unit inmates hanged themselves with their bed sheets in a recent three-day span in deaths the warden assured are "cut-and-dried cases" of suicide. (Abilene Reporter-News)
Feb. 1996, Palestine. . . Coffield Unit (?)
A naked prisoner holds a guard hostage for 10 hours in a Palestine prison. (Abilene Reporter-News)
Jan. 5, 1996, Houston
An inmate escapes in Houston during transfer. (San Antonio Express-News)
Mar. 6, 1995, Dilley. . . Dilley Unit
A fight involving between 400 and 500 prisoners breaks out at a Dilley prison. Four inmates are hospitalized. (Abilene Reporter-News) Inmates remained locked in their cells Tuesday at a South Texas prison unit as officials cleaned up after a riot involving 800 inmates. Three inmates remained hospitalized in stable condition, and four others were treated and released. State prison officials locked down the South Texas prison Monday night after ending a race-motivated fight between inmates, according to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman. (The Dallas Morning News)
Oct. 7, 1994, Livingston. . . Terrell Unit
A group of inmates tried to overpower 10 guards in a prison yard. Two guards were injured in the attack. Prison investigators said the yard disturbance was followed by a series of individual attacks on inmates by guards. (San Antonio Express-News)
Oct., 1993, Abilene
Inmate from Robertson unit mails threatening letter to a district judge. "So I must kill each of you slow 1 by 1 then your families," he wrote. He signed it, "Youth Gone Wild ... Have a Nice Day ... offender's name," and included his prison identification number. The inmate pled guilty to charges of mailing threatening communications addressed to every judge in the U.S. District Court in Houston. (Abilene Reporter-News)
June 3, 1985, Huntville. . . Ellis Unit
Correctional officer Minnie R. Houston was stabbed to death by an inmate at the trusty camp at the Ellis Unit. The stabbing took place as Houston supervised a group of seven trusties on a cleaning detail in a temporary dining hall just outside the Ellis I Unit. Houston was stabbed as she was leaving the kitchen bathroom. An investigator, who asked not to be named, said the inmate told him he was in love with Houston and could not live without her. He killed the woman after he saw her talking with a prison guard earlier in the day. Other inmates told investigators that Houston had refused the inmates advances and tried to discourage him. "He went into the kitchen, got a big kitchen knife and stabbed her at least 10 times in the chest," the investigator said. After the stabbing, six inmates rushed into the kitchen area where they found Houston lying in a bathroom near the kitchen, still alive. She died at the scene later, said TDC spokesman. (Houston Chronicle)
Nov, 1984, Huntsville. . . Ellis Unit
Death row inmate Kenneth Gentry and a fellow death row inmate attempted to escape by jumping a securtiy fence. CO Minnie Houston, armed with a shotgun, stopped them at the unit's front gate and held them at gun point until help arrived. Gentry broke his ankle during the attempt. Gentry was executed April 14, 1997 on a murder conviction out of Denton County where he attempted to escape after his mother smuggle a gun to him during visitation at the Denton County Jail in October, 1983. (TDCJ Death Row Offender Profile) See June 1995 entry for death of CO Houston, killed in the line of duty.
Jan. 22, 1982, Huntsville. . . Ellis Unit
Death row inmate attacked fellow death row inmate stabbing him 11 times with a sharpened piece of wire. (Abilene Reporter-News)
April 4, 1981, Huntsville. . . Ellis Unit
Wardens Wallace Pack and Billy Moore were killed by an inmate at the Ellis Unit. Prison farm manager Moore was shot by an inmate who later drowned Warden Pack. The inmate was tried several times, but acquitted on grounds he killed the two in self-defense. (Houston Chronicle)
Jan., 1934, Houston County. . . Eastham Unit
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow broke into nearby Eastham Prison in January 1934 with guns blazing. They shot and killed two guards and freed Barrow's cousin Raymond Hamilton, who was serving a 263-year sentence. Later in 1934, Hamilton's brother, Floyd, escaped from the Walls Unit in Huntsville, which housed death row inmates until Ellis I was completed in the 1960s. He was recaptured, released in the 1960s and died July 1984 in a Dallas hospital. The Walls Unit is still where the executions actually take place, and it is the nation's busiest execution chamber. Last year, Texas executed 37 people, far more than any other state. There have been 17 executions so far this year, and six more are scheduled in the next two weeks. In all, more than 450 people are under death sentences in Texas. (Read complete story in the (Abilene Reporter-News)

Introduction Statistics: 2000 Statistics: 1999
Statistics: 1998 Statistics: 1934 to 1997 The Monument at Sesquicentennial Plaza
Inside The Wire Letter to the Public To The Texas Legislature
Salary: Texas vs. Nation Poetry From
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To Governor Perry
Email Last update 09/22/ 2001 Letter to Public (#2)
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