In Memory of Parole Officer I Brenda Lee LaFaso
Texas Parole Officer Dies
COVID19 has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Many occupations such as first responders, law enforcement officers, and essential workers were at a much greater risk of contracting the virus. Texas has lost more law enforcement officers than any other state.
The number of losses has made it even more difficult as Texas authorities brief residents regarding their loss. On Thursday, December 31, 2020, Parole Officer Brenda Lee LaFaso died due to complications of the coronavirus. She was 51 years old.
Officer LaFaso served her community through her work as a parole officer with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She had been assigned to the Beaumont District Parole Office. It was determined that she likely contracted the virus through her work at the department.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Texas has more prisons in its state than any other state in the US. The TDCJ manages more than 100 prison facilities in Texas. The TDCJ is responsible for the oversight of all facilities, prisoners, and parolees in the state.
The TDCJ began its history in 1848 when it was legislated that the state needed a penitentiary. However, the department was reorganized into its current command structure in 1989. The agency employs over 37,000 Texas residents. The department handles managing the facilities, oversight of prisoners, and supervising parolees.
Beaumont District Parole Office
Officer LaFaso had been assigned to the Beaumont District Parole Office. As a parole officer, LaFaso would have been responsible for supervising offenders who have been released. They may be released on parole or mandatory supervision to complete their sentences while living in Texas.
Through the implementation of effective supervision, programs, and services, the parole officer works with the officer to promote positive change and reintegration into society. Parole officers spend a great deal of time in the community. They must verify the employment and residential areas of offenders. They help parolees liaison with criminal justice agencies, social services, and other entities.
To become a parole officer, one must complete a comprehensive six-week training program at a TDCJ facility in Austin, Texas.
Parole Officer Brenda Lee LaFaso leaves behind her husband, two sons, daughter, and three grandchildren. It will take the love and support of friends, family, and local law enforcement to watch over the LaFaso family and help them through their grief.
TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier gave a brief statement regarding the loss of Officer LaFaso. “Brenda Lafaso was driven to see others’ success, and that was her victory. TDCJ is a family, and the loss of a member of that family hits hard. Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family in their time of grief. Officer Lafaso will always be remembered.”
TDCJ Parole Division Director Rene Hinojosa spoke of LaFaso’s dedication. “It was her genuine care about each and every client that stood out in Brenda Lafaso. She supervised the highest-level parole clients and truly wanted nothing more than to see each one succeed. Her measure of success was always their success, and she worked each and every day to help them achieve their goals. She was respected and loved and will be missed by all.”