Wednesday, June 29, 2016

TDCJ Scholarship Winners Plan Future with State Agency

Misty Dowdell eventually would like to become a Warden or Director with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), while Adrienne Bailey hopes to improve her leadership skills, promote at the State Counsel for Offenders, and explore different areas of the agency.

The two women plan to advance their careers in TDCJ with the help of an agency scholarship with the Correctional Management Institute of Texas to pursue a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management at Sam Houston State University. Dowdell currently serves as the Operational Review Sergeant at the Holliday Unit in Huntsville. Bailey is the Legal Assistant Support Supervisor with the State Counsel for Offenders.

“I am very proud to represent my agency and to do the best I can to make the agency proud of me,” said Dowdell. Bailey hopes the degree will help open up new avenues for her career at TDCJ.

“I enjoy the different departments and how they work together,” said Bailey. Dowdell has been with TDCJ for 14-1/2 years, starting her career at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston in security after her husband lost his job. She also worked in the Plane and Henley units. The mother of four rose through the ranks to Lieutenant before moving to the Parole Division for three years so she could take care of her sick child. In November, she took the job at the Holliday Unit, where she helps audit operations to ensure that each area complies with policies and procedures. Each area on the unit is reviewed twice a year.

“We do it because we want to make sure the public is safe, and the offenders are safe as well,” Dowdell said. Dowdell is also an avid supporter of Special Olympics and in charge of fundraising and activities for TDCJ in her area. She also represented her area in the organization’s Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Bailey is a supervision in the Legal Services section at the State Counsel for Offenders, which represents indigent offenders with legal issues. She oversees nine legal assistants who aid offenders with general legal issues, such as child support, divorce, and lawsuits; time-related issues; biennial reviews for civil commitment; and immigration matters.

“We serve indigent offenders who are physically incarcerated in TDCJ,” said Bailey. “Our section processes over 1,000 pieces of mail a month.”

Bailey, a graduate of Sam Houston State University, worked several jobs in the Huntsville area, including in real estate and as an eighth grade math teacher before joining TDCJ. She worked in the Classifications and Record Divisions, handling open records requests, and served in the Offender Time Management Section that monitors time served by offenders. She joined the State Counsel’s Office in August 2014 as a legal assistant and has risen through the ranks to become a supervisor. “

I am a Bearkat, and I loved the Huntsville area so much, I stayed,” said Bailey. “I’m hoping to improve my leadership skills in my office, and I would love to learn different areas of TDCJ. I really enjoy investigating time issues.”

Both women plan to continue their careers with TDCJ.

“We’re a family,” said Dowdell. “We support each other and make sure that the public is safe. When something happens to one of our own, we step up and help.”

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