Wynne Unit

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John M. Wynne Unit
Wynne Unit is located in Texas
Wynne Unit
Location in Texas
Location810 FM 2821
Huntsville, Texas 77349
Coordinates30°44′29″N 95°34′38″W / 30.74139°N 95.57722°W / 30.74139; -95.57722Coordinates: 30°44′29″N 95°34′38″W / 30.74139°N 95.57722°W / 30.74139; -95.57722
Security classG1-G5,Outside Trusty
CapacityUnit: 2,300 Trusty Camp: 321
Managed byTDCJ Correctional Institutions Division
WardenRodger Bowers
CountyWalker County
Aerial photograph of the Wynne, Holliday, and Byrd units, and the Huntsville Municipal Airport - U.S. Geological Survey - January 23, 1995

The John M. Wynne Unit (WY) is a men's prison of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice,[1] located in northern Huntsville, Texas, at the intersection of Farm to Market Road 2821 West and Texas State Highway 75 North.[2] The Windham School District has its headquarters in the unit. Wynne, the second oldest prison in Texas, was named after John Magruder Wynne, who served as a prison employee and later as a board member of the prison system from 1878 to 1881.[2] The unit, on a 1,412 acres (571 ha) plot of land, is co-located with the Holliday Unit.[1]


Topographical map of the Wynne Unit - U.S. Geological Survey - July 1, 1976

The State of Texas bought Wynne from the last lessees of the facility (Cunningham and Ellis) in 1883. Wynne initially had about 1,970 acres (800 ha) of terrace gardens used to fulfill the gardening needs of the Huntsville Unit. The current unit was dedicated in 1937 and completed in 1939.[2]

In the 1970s, the prison had 17 prison guards in its day shift to oversee 2,600 prisoners. The prison system arranged to have building tenders used to guard the prisoners, making up for the small number of prison guards.[3]

On August 8, 2000 an inmate escaped from the prison by driving a tractor trailer cab through the prison wall while avoiding gunshots fired by correctional officers. The prisoner left the truck on the runway of Huntsville Airport and fled into a vehicle; state officials believed that the man's wife drove the vehicle. Police officers with tracking dogs found the man and his wife under a tree less than 7 miles (11 km) from the Wynne Unit. The state said that the offender "reportedly" was taken with force, while the wife surrendered peacefully.[2]

In 2007 two inmates from Wynne escaped. During the incident the escape vehicle hit 59-year-old correctional officer Susan Canfield, killing her. Both inmates have been found and rearrested.[4] The driver, Jerry Duane Martin (TDCJ#999552),[5] was executed on December 3, 2013.[6] The other inmate, John Ray Falk was sentenced to death in 2017.[7]

In 2008 an Offender escaped the Wynne Unit using a child's bicycle. He was taken back into custody less than 24 hours later.


Wynne has a box factory, a computer recovery factory,[2] and a license plate factory[2] (the only one for the state and works with the 3M company)[citation needed]. A mattress factory,[2] which provides all of the beds for the state colleges,[citation needed] is at the Wynne Unit, as well as a mechanic shop with diesel repair, a signs and plastics plant, and a sticker plant.[2] All of the state issued car registration stickers are also made at the Wynne Unit. It has been shown that the Wynne Unit generates around $1 Million a week for the State of Texas.[citation needed] The Windham School District has its headquarters in Building B in the Wynne Unit.[8][9]

Notable inmates[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Wynne Unit Archived July 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on September 29, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Turner Publishing Company, 2004. 119. ISBN 1-56311-964-1, ISBN 978-1-56311-964-4.
  3. ^ Walt, Kathy. "TEXAS PRISONS AFTER THE REFORM/ WHAT RUIZ WROUGHT/ New challenges confront a prison system that has undergone a profound transformation." Houston Chronicle. Sunday March 28, 1999. A1. Retrieved on December 31, 2011.
  4. ^ Glenn, Mike and Terri Langford. "Second escapee caught after prison guard's death." Houston Chronicle. September 25, 2007. Retrieved on June 3, 2010.
  5. ^ "Martin, Jerry Duane ." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on February 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "Jerry Duane Martin #1356".
  7. ^ Stark, Cody. "Falk gets death penalty for correctional officer's slaying". The Huntsville Item.
  8. ^ "Contact Information." Windham School District. Retrieved on January 1, 2010.
  9. ^ "Travel Regulations for Employees" 7.28-4. Windham School District. September 1, 2005. Page 5 of 15. Retrieved on January 1, 2010.
  10. ^ Perkinson, Robert. Texas Tough: The Rise of America's Prison Empire. First Edition. Metropolitan Books, 2010. p. 260. ISBN 978-0-8050-8069-8.
  11. ^ Colloff, Pamela (2013-01-21). "The Innocent Man, Part One". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  12. ^ "Turner, Keith Robert" (Archive). Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on December 28, 2015.

External links[edit]