Texas Gov. Rick Perry yesterday ordered the board of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice to take immediate action to increase prison security after the Governor's Office learned of a death row inmate's threatening cell phone calls to the public. A guard allegedly accepted a bribe to deliver a cell phone to the convicted murderer.
"Let there be no doubt about how seriously we take this security breach," Perry said. "Anyone who delivers or attempts to deliver cell phones or any other contraband to prisoners will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The vast majority of Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees are upstanding, hardworking citizens. It is a shame that the criminal acts of some overshadow the good name of others."
The governor directed the board to immediately lock down the entire prison system, search all inmates, staff and visitors and seize any contraband while issuing a statement of zero tolerance for anyone caught moving contraband within the prison. Any violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The governor's directive resulted from revelations of a TDCJ investigation into reports of a death row inmate's procurement of a cell phone and placement of more than $2,800 in calls over the past 30 days.