Trending Topics

Longtime Texas CO dies after contracting COVID-19

Eric Johnson, 37, served with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for more than 18 years


Eric Johnson was assigned to the James H. Byrd Unit.


By Sarah Calams

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Another Texas correctional officer has died from COVID-19 complications.

The Huntsville Item reported that Eric Johnson, 37, who was assigned to the James H. Byrd Unit, served with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for more than 18 years. He was hospitalized on July 26 and died the next day.

“The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is thought of as a family. We work together, protect together and now mourn together,” Bryan Collier, TDCJ executive director, said. “This loss is even greater because it affects so many. Officer Johnson’s wife, father, step-mother, uncle and sister-in-law all are TDCJ officers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. We thank all for their service. Eric Johnson will not be forgotten.”

TDCJ officials said a total of 14 employees have died from COVID-19 complications.

“Officer Johnson was best known for having a constant smile, positive word of encouragement and an over the top personality. He was well respected and liked by everyone he came into contact with,” said Byrd Unit Assistant Warden Michael James. “The passing of Officer Johnson is a great loss to the Byrd Unit, he will be sorely missed and always remembered.”

Johnson leaves behind his wife and four children.

Out of 595 people who were released on $0 bail from April 2020 through June 2021, 420 were re-arrested, with 123 of them arrested for violent crimes
As of Monday morning, 34 of the jail’s 2,864 inmates were COVID-positive
After administrators at the Portland jail revoked her security clearance, the woman was forced to take a pay cut to work at a different jail, according to a lawsuit
The individual was reportedly immediately isolated and contact tracing is underway