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Compact With Texans

Agency Name

Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)

  • Correctional Institutions Division
  • Parole Division

Description of Services Offered

On behalf of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the TDCJ Office of Ombudsman facilitates the provision of information to the public in response to specific inquiries regarding the agency, offenders, or staff. The office also provides resolution regarding written inquiries from families and friends of offenders. When necessary, investigations are coordinated through the appropriate TDCJ officials.

Note: Confidentiality requirements can restrict some information from being released.

Statement of Customer Service Principles

The TDCJ Office of Ombudsman shall:

  • Respond in a timely, professional manner to all public complaints as directed by law.
  • Facilitate communication by coordinating a comprehensive program of interaction with the general public.

Goals

It is the goal of the TDCJ Office of Ombudsman to:

  • Provide a single point of contact for questions of a general nature, and referral for division specific issues.
  • Network with other agencies and interest groups for information processing.
  • Provide accurate, current, printed, and electronic information for agency and public consumption.

Objectives

Goal related objectives are to:

  • Maintain fax, phone, mail, and Internet access for public inquiry.
  • Enable ongoing communication, meetings, and speaking engagements with the public.
  • Maintain adequate inventories of brochures and useful website data.
  • Produce statistics for general information purposes.

How long will I have to wait for an answer to my question?

The TDCJ Office of Ombudsman strives to provide timely response to the public:

  • Contacts from the public shall be responded to within ten workdays of receipt.
  • Contacts from legislative/elected state officials shall be responded to within five workdays of receipt.
  • Allegations of life threatening situation shall have an investigation initiated within two days of receipt.
  • Final resolution of initial responses can usually be expected within thirty days.

What kind of treatment can I expect?

  • TDCJ staff who receive a complaint from the public shall respond in a courteous manner.
  • When dealing with complaints by the public, TDCJ staff shall be objective and responsive.

What is the complaint process?

When submitting a complaint:

  • Concerns should be submitted in writing by mail, internet mail, or fax; include the following information: Who? What? When? Where?
  • Please avoid duplication of requests
  • If it is a grievable issue, allow the offender to exhaust administrative remedy at the unit level

How will I receive the information I requested?

Responses are disbursed as follows:

  • Written contacts shall receive a written response, unless other arrangements have been made with the person contacting TDCJ.
  • Telephone contacts may be responded to by telephone or in writing in the same time frames as written contacts.

How may I contact my customer relations representative?

You may contact the TDCJ Office of Ombudsman:

Texas Department of Criminal Justice
TDCJ Ombudsman Program Coordinator
PO Box 99
Huntsville, TX 77342-0099
Phone: (936) 437-4927
Fax: (936) 437-4930
E-mail: ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov