In Memory of Corrections Officer Luis Arturo Hernandez, Sr.
Texas Loses Another Corrections Officer to COVID
Corrections Officer Luis Arturo Hernandez, Sr. died on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, due to complications from COVID19. Through contact tracing, it was determined that he contracted the virus through his work assignment at the Rufus H. Duncan Unit. Hernandez’s most recent assignment was at this unit located in Diboll, Texas. Recently Officer Hernandez helped out at another unit, the Gib Lewis Unit in Woodville, Texas. Officer Hernandez was 58 years old.
Hernandez is the 45th corrections officer in the state of Texas to die in the line of duty from complications resulting from the COVID19 pandemic.
Hernandez was a family man. He enjoyed spending time with his wife and children in Diboll, Texas, where they maintained their home. Hernandez enjoyed supporting his kids in their extra-curricular activities and was a tremendous local fan of Diboll High School sports, especially football and baseball teams. He also enjoyed watching the Houston Texans and the Texas A & M Aggies.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Officer Luiz Arturo Hernandez spent his entire career working with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The TDCJ is a Texas government agency that manages criminal corrections facilities, inmates, and parolees throughout the state. TDCJ is the most extensive prison system in the United States.
The headquarters for the TDCJ is located in Huntsville, Texas. The agency has over 37,000 employees and manages more than 105 correctional facilities. The TDCJ was established in 1989 after an overhaul of the criminal justice system in Texas. Before that, the state had originated its first criminal justice agencies as far back as 1848 when legislation was passed to start An Act to Establish a State Penitentiary.
Rufus H. Duncan Unit
The Rufus H. Duncan Unit is a geriatric prison facility in the state of Texas. It is located in Diboll, Texas; the unit houses 606 senior or elderly offenders. Programs are limited, but the facility does offer a large garden allowing those in custody to work in the garden or grow plants. The unit focuses on providing medical, dental, and other wellness services needed by the elderly prison population.
COVID has taken the life of numerous officers and first responders. Texas corrections have been one of the hardest-hit groups with losses due to COVID. All losses are tragic. Families across the globe are coping with empty seats at the table. Corrections Officer Luis Arturo Hernandez, Sr. leaves behind his wife, two sons, a daughter, brothers, sisters, and father. He also had numerous nieces, nephews, and other extended family in the area. It will take community efforts to help these children reach their full potential.
TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier commented about the loss of Officer Hernandez. “It is a choice to serve. Luis Hernandez made that choice to help others. Officer Hernandez was well respected among staff, loved his job and his TDCJ family. His passing leaves a huge void at the Duncan Unit and with those who knew him. He will be deeply missed and always remembered.”
TDCJ Correctional Institutions Director Bobby Lumpkin offered his condolences. “Luis Hernandez was a truly devoted family man and was loved by many. Those who knew him will remember him as a man with a great sense of humor who took great pride in his job. Officer Hernandez’s passion was serving and helping others. There wasn’t a stranger or friend he would not speak or lend a hand to.”