Segregation and Classification in Texas
I would like to congratulate you and your staff, MIM. My respects go to each and every one who finds themselves in the struggle.
I just finished reading some of the statements and ways of living by other prisoners in similar situations to myself in Texas. This injustice prison and freeworld system goes out of its way to get at target minorities and their peers, labeling us security threat groups. Some of these captives have never been in general population and get segregated from population as soon as they hit the prison system.
I am going on 2.5 years in TDCJ and out of that, one year has been spent in administrative segregation with 18 more years to go, with no record of disciplinary cases or proper counsel to represent me in defense or to prove otherwise.
When I first got segregated in April 2007, I was on Polunsky Unit. There, Building Major John Werner segregated me for supposedly stock piling weapons. He did not give me and several people who were also put in ad-seg for the same reason, any kind of proper hearing or any kind of counsel to represent me and help with my defense. Two weeks after, we got moved to different units so now we can not prepare a proper defense together and build a successful civil suit on the state of Texas for allowing unjust placement in ad-seg.
Out of all this I was placed in ad-seg with a label that will segregate prisoners for long periods of time - security threat group (STG). I went into the STG manual and did not find the fraternity I am associated with there. But still my review papers state clearly that I am an STG. I fought that through step ones and grievances and all I have been given is the run around. But on my I-169 review paper stating reason for ad-seg, it states "threat to the physical safety of others and/or the order and security of the institution." Once again I wrote a step one requesting evidence and witnesses and counsel for proper defense and was denied. I have repeatedly submitted grievances requesting information and review. I am currently awaiting an answer and if I do not get a proper and legit answer I shall do my duty as a revolutionary and file a civil suit.
I bring this up because it is not just I who is being played but several tens of hundreds of should be revolutionary comrades. The Texas system has a program that is called GRAD (Gang Renunciation and Dissociation) that one must go through in order to be placed back into population. The Texas Senate sponsored the program instead of funding educational programs. The majority of people segregated are Latinos (90%). Some of these men have no education or way of knowing if their rights are being violated.
Texas prisoners confined in ad-seg are deprived of virtually all human contact and mental stimuli. We are housed alone and remain in our cells 23 hours a day. But lately we have been housed 24/7 due to shortage of officers. We have no access to educational, vocational, or other rehabilitative programs and we are provided with only limited access to legal materials, visitation and other privileges.
What's more, Texas prisoners placed in ad-seg for gang affiliation are reviewed just once a year and because we are deemed members of a security threat group, the State classification committee has only one option, to continue confinement in ad-seg.
Shut Down the Control Units
This article referenced in: