The nine board members have a tenure life of six years a period within which they appoint directors of the department, set rules and formulate relevant policies necessary for the successful operation of the department. The board members operate democratically and reach most of their operational decisions via a secret vote. Currently, one Oliver J Bell a former army officer and a graduate of the United States of America military school chairs the board. He was first elected the chairperson of the board in 2004 and later was reelected in 2009. He thus is in his third year in office in his second time. Since his appointment to the helm of the board, Bell has executed a number of changes through the inception of policies that he considered effective. He ordered a revision of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice correctional system making Texas one of the states in the country with the most effective and transformative correctional facilities.
further heads the health department within the board and is responsible for the introduction of a number of health policies that benefit not only the felons but the society too. The correctional society is comprised of the criminals, the staff of the correctional facilities and the rest of the society extending the parameters of the facilities (Weitekamp, 1993). An effective health policy that covers the interests of any of these parties influences the rest; this understanding led him to introduce effective health policies that do not only safeguard the health of the inmates but also the health of the prison officers and the rest of the society.
Other members of the board include Tom Melcher who is the vice chairperson and chairs the rehabilitation and reentry program committee. The committee oversees the seamless return of convicts into the society. Leopoldo Vasquez is the secretary to the board and chairs the audit review committee; the committee ensures accountability and effective utilization of the department’s resources.