The Texas State Prisons are all governed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice controls all facets of criminal justice regarding offenders of an adult age. This includes the managing of the Texas State Prisons and Jails, as well as the supervision and implementation of reformation programs for offenders and ex-convicts.
Furthermore, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is responsible for the second largest prison system in the United States, which up to 2001, was considered as the largest in the country. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is headquartered in Huntsville, Texas, where the Institutional Division manages Texas State Prisons, while the State Jail Division administers the state and county jails. The Huntsville Unit, where the headquarters are also located, is also the oldest prison still in operation, which was established in 1849.
There are various Texas State Prisons strewn across the entire state, though most of penitentiaries are located in what is considered the cotton slavery belt. It was not until the 1980s that other Texas State Prisons were being constructed outside of this region.
However, some of the largest Texas State Prisons are located within this region, particularly those such as Brazoria, Walker, Polk, and Fort Bend. The largest prison that is controlled by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is currently the Coffield Unit, which has just over 4,000 inmates. The largest female prison, the Christina Crain Unit, has a total of over 2,000 inmates.