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Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Number PD-21
Date December 1, 1990
Supersedes TDC Employee's Rules and Regulations.
Revised September 1978.


AUTHORITY: Article 4413 (401), Seetion 1.10(b) V.A.C.S.

PURPOSE: To establish general rules of conduet for employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (Ageney). These general rules are established to guide the employees behavior in their relationships with other employees, inmates/clients, supervisor and the public sector.

POLICY: Employees are representatives of the Agency and are expected to adhere to the highest standards of conduet while on and off duty. Violation of any rule, regulation, court order or statutory authority may subjeet the employee to disciplinary sanktion ranging from reprimand only to dismissal.

These general rules of conduet do not constitute an employment agreement (contract) or a guarantee of continued employment, and the Agency reserves the right to change them at any time. Nor do these rules limit in any manner the Division Director's authority to dismiss any employee at will.

DISCUSSION: It is the employee's responsibility to be knowledgeable, or seek clarification, of Agency rules and regulations, court orders or statutory authority. Ignorance of the existence of any rule, regulation, etc. is not a defense for a violation of the same. No single document can anticipate or address every situation. Therefore, this doeument should be used in conjunction with other current policies and procedures. In the event no written or verbal instructions bave been issued regarding a particular subject, the employee is expected to use sound judgement in arriving at a prudent course of action in the situation.

Reasonable Suspicion: When information or knowledge is sufficient to induce a prudent and cautious person to believe a violation may have occurred.
Inmate-/Client: Anyone to whom the Ageney provides a service. These include but are not limited to patients, parolees, individuals under mandatory supervision, and incarcerated individuals.

Unexcused Absenteeisin:
Sleeping on Duty: Employees are required to remain awake and alert, and devote their full attention to their assigned duty, or area of responsibility, during working hours.
Leaving A Security/Duty Post: Employees are prohibited from leaving their assigned position without proper autorisation. Correctional employees may not leave their security post until properly relieved
Gross Negligence: Employees must perform their duties in such a manner that the Ageney derives the optimum benefit from their services. Any act or conduet on the part of the employee which endangers the life or safety of himself or others, jeopardizes security, or seriously impedes the efficient and effective operations of the Agency is prohibited.
Horseplay: Horseplay between employees or employees and inmates/clients is prohibited. Horseplay includes, but is not limited to, such actions as wrestling, pushing, chasing, etc.
Substandard Duty Performance: Employees must perform their duties in a manner which meets or exceeds the minimum standards established for their position. Any act by the employee which results in a failure to meet the minimum standards of on-the-job productivity, is probibited.
Failure To Follow Proper Safety Procedures: Employees are required to observe and enforce current policies relating to safety in the work place.
Gambling On State Property:
Falsification Of Records: Employees are required to submit truthful, accurate and complete records of events to which they are a party or about which they have knowledge. Falsification of records also ineludes altering records to reflect incomplete or false information. By submitting the document the employee is attesting to the truthfulness, aceuracy and completeness of the information presented.
Theft Of Personal Or State Property: Employees are prohibited from taking any items which is not their personal property, at which they do not have permission to take from the rightful owner, with the intent to deprive the owner of that item or its use. This includes individual or state property, while the employees is on or off duty.
Unauthorized Sales/Solicitations On State Property:
Intentional Failure To Obey Any Legal Order From Proper Authority: Any legal order issued by proper authority must be obeyed promptly by the employee. Legal orders are not limited to verbal instructions, they also include written policy, procedure and statutory authority. Any instruction from proper authority posted on the employee bulletin board are considered to be legal orders.
Malicious Use Of Profane/Abusive Language or Racial Slurs: The use of profane or abusive language or racial slurs toward other employees or inmates/clients is prohibited. Nor shall employees respond in like terms to what they consider imprudent or insulting language.
Verbal or Physical Altereation With Another Employee:
Chargeable Accident With An Agency Vehicle:
Reporting To Work Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Drugs:
Introduction Of Contraband Into A Prison Unit Or Onto State Property:
Employees shall not introduce into or remove from the grounds of an institution under the jurisdiction of the Agency any item of contraband without specifie order to do so.
Contraband is defined as any item in the possession or Control of an employee an state property (1) which is not issued to employees for the performance of their duties, or (2) for which employees have not obtained their supervisor's permission to possess.
Specifie items of contraband include: (1) firearms, (2) knives, (3) ammunition, (4) intoxicants, (5) unauthorized written or verbal communication brought into or taken from an institution for an inmate/client, former inmate/client, or associates or family members of inmates/clients.
BOQs and automobiles are covered by this policy. Residences on state property are exempt.
Employees who introduce into or remove from an institution any form of contraband may be subject to criminal prosecution
Use Of Alcohol Or Illicit Drugs On The Job:
Violation Of Statutory Authority/Court Order/Rules/Regulations/Policies: It is the employees responsibility to know, have a clear understanding of and comply with rules, regulations, policies, court orders, and statutory authority governing the operation of the Agency.
Harassment/Discrimination: All forms of harassment or discrimination relating to sex, gender, -race, color, religious reference, national origin, age or disability are prohibited. Behavior of this nature may subjeet employees to criminal or civil penalties, in addition to administrative action.
Harassing Or Retaliating Against Another: Employees are prohibited from harassing or retaliating against another in any form or for any reason. This includes all forms of harassment or retaliation for reasons other than sex, gender, race, color, religions reference, national origin, age or disability.
Mistreatment Of Inmates/Clients Or Others: Mistreatment usually takes the form of physical abuse, but it can also include such actions as threats, unauthorized or illegal denial of privileges, entitlements, etc. Actions of this nature by employees are prohibited.
Use Of Excessive Force: The use of force to control a situation or to gain compliance with legal orders will be governed by existing policies, procedures and court orders. Only the minimum amount of force, applied in compliance with existing policies, necessary to achieve the desired results will be employed. The use of force to intimidate, coerce, punish, or extract revenge is prohibited.
Failure To Completely/Accurately Report A Use Of Excessive Force: Employees involved in, or a witness to, a use of force incident are required to provide a complete factual account of their actions and/or observations of the incident as outlined in existing policies, procedures, and court orders.
Refusal To Submit To A Polygraph Examination: Employees have an obligation to answer work related inquiries in conneetion with an ongoing investigation of criminal misconduct, Ruiz stipulated violations, or other employee misconduct which may jeopardize security, or when the Agency's interests are involved.
Institutional Division employees are required to submit to a polygraph examination in the following situations: use of force; retaliation or harassment; aiding an inmate escape or escape attempt; or introduction of contraband into an Agency facility.
In addition, the appropriate Division Director may request an employee to voluntarily submit to a polygraph examination regarding forms of misconduct other than outlined above when, in his judgement, such examination is necessary to supplement an administrative investigation.
Failure to Turn In All Evidence Seized: Employees are required preserve and submit all evidence in its original form through an established chain of custody. All confiscated property, contraband, etc. must be properly accounted for and secured in accordance with the appropriate Division's policy.
Improper Or Untidy Uniforms: It is required that uniformed employees adhere to the standards established by Agency policy regarding dress and personal appearence while in uniform. The uniform is not authorized for wear during non-working hours.
Destruction, Misappropriation, Or Unauthorized Use Of Ageney Equipment/Property: Employees are prohibited from using any Agency resources to further their private interest, to include the use of inmate/client labor except as specifically authorized. Employees shall not take any item of state property for the purpose of converting it to their own personal use. Nor shall employees use state equipment for any purpose other than that for which it was originally intended.
Refusal To Cooperate With An Official Inquiry/Investigation: Employees are required to cooperate fully in any investigation conducted by an authorized official of the Ageney, or state or federal governments in which the Agency's interests are involved.
Conviction Of A Felony:
Destroying Evidence Or Giving False Information: In an investigation employees are required to preserve any evidence in its original form and provide truthful information or statement relating to the incident under investigation.
Release Of Information: Employees are prohibited, except in accordance with Agency policy, from releasing information relating to employees/inmates/clients.
Accepting Good's Money, Services Or Favors: Employees are prohibited from granting special favors to, and asking for or accepting gratuities (whether in property or service) from an inmate/client. Additionally, employees shall not accept any reward or any promise of the same, from a person or company interested in any contract, purchase or sale made by either the Agency or by its authority.
Aiding And Abetting An Escape:
Insubordination: Employees are prohibited from showing contempt or disrespect through words or actions toward supervisors and managers, and must respond promptly to legal orders issued by these personnel.
Misconduet: Employees are prohiblted from engaging in any activity, of a minor nature, that would have an adverse impact upon the integrity or productivity of the employee or the Agency.
Trafficking And Trading: Employees are prohibited, under any cireumstances, from engaging in trafficking and/or trading with inmates/clients. Employees will not accept from, give or sell to, purchase for, or deliver to an inmate/client any article, commodity, or communication of any description except through authorized channels.
Convietion Of A Misdemeanor: Employees convicted of a misdemeanor offense may be disciplined by Agency officials for their misconduct.
Possession, Use, Or Sale Of Illicit Drugs/Drug Paraphernalia: Employees are prohibited from possessing, using or selling illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia while on duty or off duty. Possession, use, or sale of the same during off duty hours or in a private residence is not a defense for this violation. Behavior of this nature may subject employees to criminal prosecution.
Denial Of Uniform Access To Courts: Employees are prohibited from interfering in any manner with the inmates/client's right of access to courts or to public officials. This included, but is not limited to, unauthorized denial of legal visits or materials, harassing or retaliating against inmates/clients for exercising their right to file a grievance or complaint, or corresponding with the courts or public officials.
Employee/Inmate/Client Relationships (Association, Correspondence, Etc.): Employees are probibited from establishing any type of personal relationship with inmates/clients or former inmates/clients, which jeopardizes the security of the Agency's institutions, compromises the effeetiveness of the employee, or provides any of the individuals mentioned with special treatment, privileges or favors.
On And Off-Duty Conduct: The employees conduet, on and off duty, must be a prime concern to both the employee and the employer. Any misconduet on the part of the employees that jeopardizes the security of the Agency's institutions or calls into question their ability to perform effectively and efficiently in their position or casts doubt upon the integrity of employees, is prohibited.
Tampering With A Witness: Employees are prohibited from attempting to hinder, or influence in any manner, the testimony or information to be given by any witness or potential witness in an investigation or administrative proceeding.
Refusal To Submit To Searches: When reasonably suspicion exists that employees have contraband on their person or in their personal belongings, employees may be required to submit to a search. Employees are expected to cooperate with Agency officials during the search of their person or belongings while on state-owned property. Upon entering state property or during routine inspections (e.g., BOQ room sanitation, safety, etc.), employees give implied consent to the search of their person or property. When it is necessary to search the person or property of employees, the search shall be conducted with the authority of the unit warden (or on-call assistant warden) or the head of the appropriate Division-level Department.
Falsification Of Employment Application: Employees are required to provide complete and accurate information on their employment application and supporting document.