Texas Corrections Officer Lost to Virus
On Wednesday, April 29, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice made a brief announcement regarding the loss of one of their corrections officers to the coronavirus. Corrections Officer V. James D. Coleman, age 53 and a 20 year veteran of the department, passed away due to complications from the virus.
Coleman worked up until April 26, at the Middleton Unit in Abilene, Texas, where he was assigned. On Monday, April 27, he fell ill and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he was tested for the virus. It came back positive. On Wednesday, April 29, two days after being admitted to the hospital, he died from the virus.
It has been a tough time for everyone because of the coronavirus. It has been hard for friends, neighbors, and others to lose officers and first responders to this illness. Kelly and Eddie King posted their thanks to Officer Coleman online, stating this: God Bless you, Corrections Officer V James Coleman! Thank you for your many years of service with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Texas. "Thank you for making the residents of Abilene, Texas, feel safer. We are all thankful to you for your service, your devotion, and your sacrifices, and to your family and friends for their sacrifices. We are so saddened by this terrible news, and you will never be forgotten!"
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Officer James D. Coleman served the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) for over 20 years of his law enforcement career. The TDCJ is a law enforcement department of the U.S. state of Texas. It is responsible for criminal justice throughout the state of Texas. This responsibility includes adult and juvenile offenders, managing offenders in state prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities. It also includes the responsibility to supervise the released offenders who are on parole.
The TDCJ employs over 37,000 Texas citizens to engage the offender population, supervise, and help in the rehabilitation process. The department has jurisdiction over the entire state of Texas, which includes the whole population of approximately 25 million residents.
Middleton Unit, Abilene, Texas
Officer James D. Coleman was most recently assigned to the Middleton Unit Transfer Facility in Abilene, Texas. The Middleton Unit facility houses G-1 minimum to G-3 medium-security offenders. It also holds transient offenders. These are defendants who are being held temporarily pending permanent facility assignments. The Middleton Unit serves both adult male offenders and has an area for male youth offenders.
The facility contains 402 acres of land and is secured by double chain-linked fences. The fences are covered with razor wire, and there are also four armed towers. The prison contains ten dormitory style units that can house a total of 2,128 prisoners. Many educational and vocational programs are offered to the prisoners to help prepare them for a better future and prevent a course of re-offending. Other programs are also available, such as substance abuse, mental health treatment, support groups, parenting classes, and general life skills courses to ensure success in their future.
In addition to Officer Coleman, the TDCJ has reported that 33 offenders at the Middleton and Robertson units have had tests that have come back positive for the virus. Additionally, there have been eight employees that have also tested positive. There are also an additional 75 prisoners who are currently in medical isolation.
Family and Memorials
His wife and one child survive officer James D. Coleman.
Bryan Collier, the Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which employed Officer Coleman, made a brief statement regarding his death. "There is no measure of the unexpected loss of someone we hold dear. The thoughts and prayers of the TDCJ family are with those close to Officer Coleman. We can only hope that is of some comfort to his friends and family."