There has been a lot of talk about TDCJ saving money by closing Central Unit this year, and reducing costs in TDCJ education and treatment programmes. What you rarely hear about is how TDCJ could trim expenditure by reviewing and improving its current archaic bureaucracy.
Hubby had a hotpot, bought legally, which broke in November 2010. He had got it when he first arrived at his current unit, 5 years ago. Hotpots are the inmate's means of heating water to make coffee and warming up pre-cooked food pouches.
When the hotpot broke, he threw it out, because to keep it would risk him getting a minor case for having something that had been altered (ie, something that was no longer working). He went to commisarry to order a new one, and was informed that he would have to trade in his old broken one. Obviously, he no longer had it. So he had to request that the original property slip from 4 years previous be sent to the Commisarry clerk, because no hotpot would be issued until they had proof that he had already had one.
Hotpots can take a while to be delivered, just like radios and other large items.
Every time Hubby went to commisarry, he asked if his hotpot had arrived and was told no, up until April 2011 (5 months since his original request). Then the response became "Yes, but we need your original property slip and that's not here".
It wasn't there because Hubby had to authorise 10c (yes, 10 cents) to be deducted from his account by cheque from Huntsville, after the hotpot arrived and not before, to be sent to the main commisarry department in TDCJ by internal mail, before the commisarry clerk at Hubby's unit could issue the new hotpot. She could not deduct the 10c as part of the transaction, it had to be raised as a cheque and sent to another department.
Hubby finally got his new hotpot in May 2011.
TDCJ currently house around 150,000 inmates. Let's hope their hotpots dont all break at the same time, otherwise TDCJ will also be broke just from the expence of transporting those 10c cheques around the state.