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An employee publication of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

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July 2020

TDCJ Mourns the Loss of Jerry Esparza

Jerry Esparza.
CO V Jerry Esparza

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

46-year-old Correctional Officer V Jerry Esparza had more than 25 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Jester III Unit in Richmond. After testing positive for COVID-19, Esparza had been being treated at Memorial Herman Sugarland Hospital since June 17, 2020. He passed away early this morning July 15, 2020.

“In these trying times, the death of a member of the TDCJ family fighting so hard against this virus is a tragic loss,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “My prayers and those of the entire agency are with Officer Esparza’s loved ones and friends. He will always be remembered.”

“He was a dedicated family man, an amazing father to his kids, husband to his wife and had been a committed employee to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for decades,” said L.E. Townsend, Senior Warden at the Jester III Unit. “He was the backbone of third shift known to light up the room with his presence. His absence will leave a void that nobody can replace.”

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has had nine employees who have died in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.