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texas department of criminal justice

texas department of criminal justice

via Flickr/DAlalou
via Flickr/DAlalou
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Prisons Find Legal Way to Block Cell Phones

No matter how annoying many people are with their cellphones, we can't stop them because it's illegal to jam radio signals. Cellphones smuggled to prison inmates are also a serious problem, but the Lufkin News reports Texas prisons are getting electronic help to fight cell phone calls -- legally.

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Joe Raedle, Getty Images/Newsmakers
Joe Raedle, Getty Images/Newsmakers
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Texas Prison Population Shrinking

It's true.  The Austin American-Statesman reports the total population of the state's 111 prisons is now 154,000 — down 2,500 from two years ago when it was 156,500, give or take.

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via TDCJ/Texas Correctional Industries
via TDCJ/Texas Correctional Industries
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Texas Prisons Train Inmates for High-Tech Jobs

In just one more sign that today's prisons are not your grandfather's prisons where inmates only made license plates, Texas prisons have been turned into factories where inmates get training for all kinds of jobs on the outside, including high-tech IT jobs.

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via flickr/zina@ameritech.net
via flickr/zina@ameritech.net
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Historic Prison Rodeo Arena Demolished

Another piece of Texas history is falling under the wrecking ball.  The historic arena where the Texas Prison Rodeo was held for more than 50 years is being demolished to make way for...for...who knows what.  Something to be decided later.

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via BizarreRecords
via BizarreRecords
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Update: Prison Ends Fancy Last Meals for Death Row Inmates

Update: Within hours of getting a "strong" letter from a powerful state senator, the head of the Texas prison system ordered an end to the practice of giving condemned prisoners anything they want for their "last meal."

State Senator John Whitmire of Houston is Chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, which oversees the state's huge prison system, and when he talks, people who run the prisons listen.

Whitmire says it's time to put an end to the practice of giving death-row inmates anything they want to eat for their last meal.  "Enough is enough" Whitmire says.

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