Texas Corrections Officer Reinstated After Facebook Flap

AUSTIN (September 28, 2012)--A fired Texas corrections officer has his job back after state prison officials determined that his Facebook friendship with an inmate didn't violate policy or raise security issues.

The sergeant at the Huntsville Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice was reinstated after an internal affairs investigation that found several other TDCJ employees, including a top official, had the inmate among their Facebook friends.

The officer contended the inmate was a high school acquaintance and he didn't know the man was in prison.

Agency spokesman Jason Clark says investigators found he had no other relationship and no correspondence with him.

A corrections officer union official says at least three other officers have been disciplined or fired for similar inmate "friends" on Facebook.