James H. Byrd, Jr. Unit

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James "Jay" H. Byrd Unit
Aerial photograph of the Byrd, Holliday, and Wynne units, and the Huntsville Municipal Airport - U.S. Geological Survey - January 23, 1995
James H. Byrd, Jr. Unit is located in Texas
James H. Byrd, Jr. Unit
Location in Texas
Location 21 FM 247
Huntsville, Texas 77320
Coordinates 30°44′15″N 95°33′20″W / 30.7374333°N 095.5556000°W / 30.7374333; -095.5556000
Status Operational
Security class G1, G2, Transient
Capacity 1,365
Opened May 1964
Managed by TDCJ Correctional Institutions Division
Warden Steven Miller
County Walker County
Country USA
Website www.tdcj.state.tx.us/unit_directory../du.html

The James "Jay" H. Byrd, Jr. Unit (DU) is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison for men located in Huntsville, Texas. The 93 acres (38 ha) diagnostic unit, established in May 1964, is 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Downtown Huntsville on Farm to Market Road 247.[1] The prison was named after James H. Byrd, a former prison warden.[citation needed]

The facility is the TDCJ's primary prisoner intake facility in Huntsville.[2] All male death row offenders and male offenders with life imprisonment without parole enter the TDCJ system through Byrd. From there, the inmates with life without parole sentences go on to their assigned facilities.[3] Male death row offenders go on to the Allan B. Polunsky Unit, and female death row offenders go on to the Mountain View Unit.[4]

Notable inmates[edit]

  • John William King, perpetrator of the murder of James Byrd Jr., a man who has the same name as the warden that Byrd Unit was named after. King arrived on February 25, 1999 for diagnostic purposes.[5]


  1. ^ "Byrd Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on October 2, 2010.
  2. ^ "More than 500,000 prisoners transported annually Bus Stop: Transportation officers keep offender traffic moving." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. March/April 2005. Retrieved on October 26, 2010.
  3. ^ "Life without parole offenders face a lifetime of tight supervision." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on July 7, 2010.
  4. ^ "Death Row Facts." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  5. ^ Dixon, Dee and Perryn Keys. "Jasper: The road back." The Beaumont Enterprise. June 2008. Retrieved on October 1, 2010.

External links[edit]