If you are interested in serving in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, there are many different fields that you can explore. When you think of the TDCJ, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a career that requires you to attend criminology schools or a university offering criminology degrees. However, there are many areas that you can be employed under without direct contact with prisoners. Knowledge of criminal procedures and criminal programs are a plus though if you want to get hired.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, or TDCJ, is part of the Texas state government with offices in both Austin and Hunstville. As stated on its website tdcj.state.tx.us, the main function of the TDCJ is to "manage offenders in state prisons, state jails and private correctional facilities that contract with TDCJ."
Furthermore, the TCDJ is tasked to supervise offenders when they are released from various prison institutions on parole or mandatory supervision. They also allocate funding as well as oversight of community supervision (previously called adult supervision).
The TDCJ is made up of several divisions such as:
- Administrative Review and Risk Management
- General Counsel
- Community Justice Assistance
- Correctional Institutions
- Private Facility Contract Monitoring/Oversight
- Rehabilitation Programs
- Health Services
- Victim Services
- Human Resources
- Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments
- Business and Finance
- Manufacturing and Logistics
- Information Technology Division
- Facilities Division
There are eight different job categories under the TDCJ. Below is the list of job categories. Included are just some of the many positions (in different pay levels) that are under these categories:
- State Agency Administration: attorneys, agriculture specialists, directors, general counsels, human resources specialists, program supervisors, programmers, project managers, investigators, managers, wardens
- Professionals: accountants, aircraft pilots, architects, psychologists, attorneys, budget analysts, case managers, chaplains, chemists, contract specialist, data base administrators, nurses, planners, human resources specialist, librarians
- Technicians: audio/visual technicians, operations supervisors, graphics designers, information specialists, laboratory technicians, micrographics technicians, programmers
- Protective Services: correctional officers, safety officers
- Para Professionals: accounting technicians, administrative assistants, counsel substitutes, customer service representatives, executive assistants, inventory& store specialist, library assistants, ombudsman, substance abuse counselors, trainings assistants and specialists
- Administrative Support: administrative assistants, clerks, computer operators, data entry operators, legal secretaries, microfilm camera operators, systems support specialists
- Skilled Craft: agriculture specialists, electricians, HVAC mechanics, industrial specialists, machinists, maintenance supervisors and technicians, motor vehicle technicians
- Service&Maintenance: correctional transportation officers, custodians, food service managers, laundry managers
The TDCJ online site provides you with a link to employment opportunities within the organization. Click on the TDCJ Job Search link where you can find information regarding the current vacancies depending on the region or city, the salary level or the job category. Texas Dept of Criminal Justice Application forms are available for download on their website. Instructions on how to fill out the forms are provided. Apart from the usual background information including educational attainment, you have to disclose if any criminal charges were filed against you.
If you feel that you are being called to serve under the criminal justice system in your state of Texas, visit the TDCJ website for more information, including current job opportunities. Public servants come from different backgrounds and educational levels. Apart from a full-time job, the TDCJ also accepts volunteers. Visit the TCDJ Job Search site today and find out how you can be a public servant for the Lone Star State; it's a good idea to pick up at least a few criminal justice classes online to prepare for your new career with the TDCJ.