On August 30, 2021 it was announced by The Texas Board of Criminal Justice that the name of the Darrington Unit is being changed to the Memorial Unit
State Representative James White, who has led the Texas Legislature’s House Committee on Corrections for several years, in early January 2021 asked Texas to rename prisons that honor slave owners and those tied to convict leasing, a system where Black people were funneled into the prison system and then leased out to private industries for unpaid labor. The Darrington Unit, which imprisons about 1,700 men in Brazoria County, was named after John Darrington, a plantation owner from Alabama. The land the prison sits on was sold to Texas after slavery was abolished but retained the Darrington name. White said he began researching the prison names last year and reached out to the prison system because “words matter”. The state of Texas listened to these appeals and acted to rename the Darrington unit.
The Memorial Unit name is in recognition of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice staff and employees past and present who are dedicated to fulfilling the agency’s mission and who are critical to managing the challenges of maintaining safe and orderly operations.