Ellis Unit is a state medium facility that resembles a high-security institution in many ways. They are designed primarily to house violent offenders with longer sentences (usually in the 20 -year range), and inmates who have exhibited violent tendencies and require segregation from the general population. Inmates live in single and double cells with all movement restricted. The property's perimeter is double-fenced with triple-razor wire fenced perimeters, perimeter patrol and electronic surveillance, medium institutions provide a higher level of security than low facilities but there are some similarities to the controlled movement system.
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The Texas Department of Corrections is responsible for the operation of TDCJ - O.B. Ellis Unit (E1) where they supervise adults convicted of a state crime and then sentenced to a commitment period by the County or Circuit Judge. The penalty phase of the commitment is the length of the sentence imposed and what type of facility they will spend their time in. Once the inmate is taken into custody there is an orientation period where the offender is evaluated medically and psychologically. The results of their findings will have everything to do with the level of custody the prisoner will be incarcerated.
State prison is also referred to as a correctional facility, penitentiary or detention center and is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state. Convicted criminals are sent to prison as punishment and must follow very strict rules of conduct and order or they are held to additional punishment like loss of privileges or isolation. The address is 1697 FM 980, Huntsville, TX located in Walker County.
There is a fundamental difference between jail and prison. It has everything to do with the length of stay for inmates; jail is short-term and prison is long-term. Jail is most commonly used within a criminal justice system for people charged with crimes who must be imprisoned until their trial, or those pleading or being found guilty of crimes at trial may be sentenced to a specified short period of imprisonment. Jails are usually run by local law enforcement county sheriff and/or local government police agencies.
Because prisons are designed for long-term incarceration, they are better developed for the living needs of their populations. State prison offers the inmate a more regular, routine life, the wider range of programs, better facilities and generally better food. The DOC has a bevy of disciplines for which an offender may be classified, they are Reception Centers, High Security (Males), General Population (Males), and Female Offenders.
State prison is very much like a town inside a town. There is a mayor (the warden - call 936-295-5756 for information), a store (the commissary), housing (cells), medical care (infirmary), library (law, education and lending), civic organizations (clubs), worship (chapel), a park (the recreation yard), a cafeteria (chow hall), police (correctional staff), a jail (disciplinary segregation unit, the SHU, the hole), laws (administrative rules), judges (hearings officers), and the inmates all have a job that keeps the institution operational.
There is no privacy in prison - inmates dress, shower, and use the bathroom in the company of other inmates. Inmates are required to make their bunks and keep their personal possessions neat; All inmates wear identical clothing and must carry their identification card with them at all times.; Most possessions allowed must be purchased from the canteen; Meal times are assigned and inmates have a short time to eat and depart the chow hall, there are no seconds; Inmates are subject to searches of their person and/or cell at any time; All movements of inmates from one area to another are tightly choreographed, monitored and supervised to avaid any incidents between location changes.