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An employee publication of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice


October 2021

TDCJ Mourns the Loss of Melissa Maldonado

Melissa Maldonado
Melissa Maldonado
Correctional Officer V
Garza West Unit

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

51-year-old Melissa Maldonado, Correctional Officer V at the Garza West Unit in Beeville, died on October 3, 2021.

Officer Maldonado had been on sick leave since August 28, 2021, and tested positive for COVID-19 on September 3, 2021. She was hospitalized on September 8, 2021, and appeared to be showing signs of improvement where she could be released to a rehabilitation facility. Unfortunately, her condition deteriorated and became critical before she passed on.

Officer Maldonado began her TDCJ career in 2009 at the Garza East Unit in Beeville and was transferred to the Garza West Unit in September 2020.

“Officer Maldonado was a committed TDCJ employee who served the agency well during her time at the Garza East and Garza West Units,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “Her absence will be greatly felt and she will be truly missed by all. The agency extends its deepest condolences to her family, friends, and co-workers.”

Garza West Senior Warden Michael Crow said Officer Maldonado was a very humble and quiet person. “She was very close to her family and dedicated to her job,” he said. Officer Maldonado has various relatives who work in several different positions at the Garza West Unit. Warden Crow also said, “She will be greatly missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.”

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