In Memory of Parole Officer II Huey P. Prymus, III
On Sunday, September 5, 2021, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prepared to inform residents that their agency had lost a parole officer to the COVID19 pandemic. TDCJ has been hit especially hard in losses; the agency has lost over 50 law enforcement officers from its ranks since the pandemic’s start. COVID19 has become the number one cause of line of duty deaths for law enforcement across the country.
Parole Officer II Huey P. Prymus, III, died due to complications arising from contracting the virus. He had most recently been assigned to work at the Tyler District Parole Office in Tyler, Texas. Prymus has been an officer with the TDCJ for more than 14 years. Prymus was 38 years old.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Texas has more prisons and institutions in its state jurisdiction than any other state in the US. The TDCJ manages more than 108 prison facilities in Texas. In addition, 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. Today, the state is facing devastation as it cannot control the COVID19 response adequately in these prison populations. As a result, many officers have been lost.
Officer Prymus had most recently been assigned to the Tyler District Parole Office. As a parole officer, Prymus had the responsibility of supervising offenders who had been released. Prisoners may be released on parole or possible mandatory supervision to complete their sentences while living in Texas.
TDCJ, through 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. For example, they must verify the employment and residential areas of offenders. In addition, they help paroled offenders 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 II Huey P. Prymus, III, leaves behind his wife and two children. The love of Texas will need to surround the Prymus family in support through these difficult times. Additionally, many law enforcement members from the surrounding communities will pull together to show honors at the service for Prymus and demonstrate gratitude from the community for his act of love and bravery as he put his life on the line each day.
TDCJ Executive Director Brian Collier shared news of the loss with the community. “Prymus was not just an employee of the TDCJ; he was a friend to his fellow co-workers. He represented the TDCJ’s core values with his integrity, and he made a difference in the lives of others through kindness and grace. The thoughts and prayers of the TDCJ family are with the Prymus family during their time of grief. Officer Prymus will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.”
Parole Division Director Rene Hinojosa thought fondly of Officer Prymus as the ‘gentle giant.’ “He was willing to help anyone in need at any time. He was loved and respected by all who worked with him. His smile always lit up the room, and he had a positive presence on everyone in the office. He truly enjoyed working for the agency.”