Right to Access Public Documents in Texas
I just received ULK Spring 2022, No. 77 and how ironic is the material discussed. A source I regularly use is called Community Legal Information Center and they are stationed in Chico, CA. I have recently requested the TDCJ Grievance Operation Manual and it was denied by the mail room. I put in a well-worded I-60 today asking the mailroom to explain themselves. The PLRA makes our grievances legal proceedings (Access to Courts) and Texas Law and TDCJ Policy both state that TDCJ officials cannot impede or intervene in an inmates legal proceedings. And of course this manual is a public record and government entities cannot operate in secrecy. All government is required to operate with full transparency because We the people create and elect government. Texas Government Code 552.001
MIM(Prisons) adds: This is a followup to our report that the oppressor censored the TDCJ’s Grievance Operations Manual in January at McConnell Unit. We pointed out the long history of suppression of that document in Texas in that article. Now, this report from Gib Lewis demonstrates that this continues to be department-wide practice and unofficial policy. Just as they don’t want prisoners to figure out how to stop using addictive substances, they don’t want prisoners to know how to file effective grievances against their abuse.
In our current situation it is important to exhaust our appeals and legal routes to justice as the comrade above is doing. Yet this whole situation demonstrates that the imperialist legal system is not meant to work for the oppressed. So we cannot rely on the courts to solve our problems.