Brutality prevents prisoner transformation behind bars

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[Abuse] [Gib Lewis Unit] [Texas]
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Brutality prevents prisoner transformation behind bars

We are not correcting bad or criminal behavior, we are not reforming lives or serving justice. We are struggling to get public attention drawn to this torture. I've witnessed a guard provoke a prisoner verbally, and taunt him until he had a reaction, which was then used as an excuse to assault the prisoner, claiming the prisoner acted aggressively. Implicit in nearly every interaction with the guards is the potential, the threat, of violence; every breath is a potential disciplinary infraction, or write-up. Many rules are either unknown or go unenforced, making for a milieu where a guard could enter, quite literally, any cell and find a reason to write up its inhabitant. If you have more than three books at any given time, it could be a write-up, or you put a picture of your family on or in your locker, or hang wet clothes up to dry. Almost anything can be considered non-dangerous contraband. Any guard has the power to keep a prisoners from seeing or talking to his family, a power frequently abused.

This kind of control is maddening. For the individuals who live under its influence; any refusal to comply with these instruments of violence – any lack of submission – can be met with a can of mace followed by beatings, while in restraints, and time in segregation. Meeting violent offenders with more violence, along with mental and physical torture is not an effective method of reform. It will only make the prisoners more fluent in the language of violence. And they are frequently angry, bitter and full of resentment.

I have filed grievances challenging this violation of the First Amendment and also the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments due to these prisoncrats stripping me and others of all personal property, denying access to the law library or outside recreation, and deliberately abusing grievance procedure by refusing to process any grievance that is submitted. So we ask that eyes and ears be placed upon this place because there are those offenders ready to force these prisoncrats to remove us from these cruel and inhuman conditions.

These deplorable conditions create an environment that often feels helpless and insurmountable to the prisoners who live through it. We are being oppressed and controlled, mistreated and abused on a daily basis. Some offenders have no means of addressing these abuses – even the grievance procedure is hopelessly flawed, not permitting the offenders to grieve the conduct of the guards, or any procedure whatsoever. They recognize that they are being subjected to conditions that surpass more punishment for their crimes. The parole board isn't actually there to help us obtain our freedom, it's there to give the illusion that it is possible, so that we may be controlled. The few that are successful will emerge as scarred, changed men, living with the knowledge and pain of what they were forced to endure, and the daily suffering that continues by the people they left behind.

On May 28 of this year a fellow inmate as well as myself were brutally beaten in handcuffs and sprayed multiple times with chemical agents off of the camera by officers, sergeants, and a Lt on this Gib Lewis Unit in Woodville, TX. Here on this unit these beatings by officers are the norm for us inmates. Most of us have little to no family support to help us voice these cruel acts of injustice to the public. We are here for rehabilitation and transformation not to be beaten to the point of traumatization. We need the public to know that the real criminals are working amongst criminal and breaking laws, rules, etc on the daily and hiding behind their uniform and rank. Assist us in this struggle for justice.

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