Complaint to Ombudsman:
To Whom it May Concern,
I am a friend of Scott Gibson, #699888, better known as Vanessa. She is a transgender woman and currently has a lawsuit against TDCJ’s blanket ban on gender reassignment surgery, and has been subject to nonstop ridicule and harassment at the hands of guards on her unit. I am writing to you to express my concern for one guard in particular. Francoise Jean-Baptiste went as far as to state “one to the back of the head” in reference to Vanessa on social media , cited in this news article https://www.texasobserver.org/tdcj-officers-facebook-trans-threats/
Though an investigation took place and Mr. Baptiste was on temporary unpaid leave, it has been brought to my attention that he is now working back at the Hughes Unit. This is absolutely unacceptable. Allowing Mr. Baptiste to reenter the TDCJ workforce creates a hostile environment for trans and gender variant prisoners. His crude comment reflects deep-rooted transphobia and a lack of empathy for prisoners who suffer from gender dysphoria.
Vanessa should not have to live in an environment where she fears for her own safety. Guards who joke about killing a prisoner should not be allowed to work for TDCJ. I urge you to bring this to the attention of the appropriate staff officials to see that Mr. Baptiste be dismissed immediately. I look forward to your timely response.
This is in response to your email received on December 13, 2016, by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Ombudsman Office, regarding the referenced offender. You allege Officer Jean-Baptiste has subjected Offender Gibson to nonstop ridicule and harassment. You allege the officer was on temporarily leave and has since returned back to work at the Hughes Unit. You urge this matter to be addressed and dismiss Officer Jean-Baptiste immediately.
Your request has been taken into consideration. The administration is aware of your concerns regarding Officer Jean-Baptiste and this matter is currently under investigation.
We are not at liberty to discuss any administrative action that might have been taken in response to staff misconduct. We do expect and require our staff to act professionally and harassment or ridicule are not tolerated. Every allegation is thoroughly investigated and appropriate action is taken whenever there is sufficient evidence to substantiate that staff misconduct has occurred. One of the agency’s top priorities is to ensure that all offenders are housed in a safe and secure environment.
Thank you for contacting our office with your concerns.Sincerely,
Emma Guerra, Ombudsman I
TDCJ Office of Ombudsman
We will post follow ups as they become available