Jester IV Unit
The Beauford H. Jester IV Unit (J4) is a psychiatric facility of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice located in unincorporated Fort Bend County, Texas, 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Richmond. It is a part of the Jester State Prison Farm property and it is located in U.S. Highway 90A.
|Jester IV Unit|
|Texas Department of Criminal Justice|
|Location||Fort Bend County, Texas, United States|
The unit was established in November 1993. The facility has wide hallways and have skylights and floor to ceiling windows. The cement walls have murals made by prisoners that depict wildlife. Jester IV is located in the middle of a cornfield. After the closure of the nearby Central Unit in 2011, John Whitmire, the chairperson of the criminal justice committee of the Texas Senate, said that the decision to open Jester IV was a decision that "I think we'll regret." In 2011 a middle school, James Bowie Middle School, and a strip commercial center opened across the street from Jester IV and Jester III Unit.
As of March 2013 Jester IV houses 550 prisoners. They are among the most mentally ill and violent prisoners in the TDCJ. While male death row prisoners are normally housed in the Polunsky Unit near Livingston, Texas, eight are instead housed in Jester IV as of March 2013. Marc Bookman of Mother Jones said in 2013 that "by all accounts Jester IV is a quieter place" compared to Polunsky.
As of March 2013 a prisoner typically comes from his regularly assigned unit to Jester IV for several days of psychiatric treatment. After the prisoner is stabilized, the prisoner is sent back to his regular unit. There are prisoners that have stayed longer.
- "Jester IV Unit Archived 2008-08-21 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on September 23, 2011. "4 Jester Road, Richmond, Texas 77406"
- Grissom, Brandi. "Trouble in Mind." Texas Monthly. March 2013. Volume 41, Issue 3. p. 192 - Regarding prisoners that are exception to the usual few day stays: "Andre, however, has been at the unit since December 2008. He was sent there after he pulled out his remaining eye, rendering himself blind."
- Ward, Mike. "As prison closes, could others be next?" Austin American-Statesman. Thursday August 11, 2011. Updated on Friday August 12, 2011. Retrieved on September 23, 2011.
- "FBISD names the district’s 14th middle school campus opening in August 2011 – James Bowie Middle School." Fort Bend Independent School District. Retrieved on September 23, 2011. James Bowie Middle School (Middle School #14), located at 700 Plantation Drive, in Richmond, Texas. "
- Grissom, Brandi. "Andre Thomas: Struggling to Maintain Sanity In Prison." Texas Tribune. February 25, 2013. p. 5. Retrieved on March 23, 2013. "Eight death row inmates, including Thomas, are now housed at the Jester IV unit in Richmond, one of three psychiatric facilities in the prison system."
- Bookman, Marc. "How Crazy Is Too Crazy to Be Executed?" Mother Jones. Tuesday February 12, 2013. 3. Retrieved on March 23, 2013.
- "Thomas, Andre" (Archive). Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on December 28, 2015.