Step 1 and Step 2 Grievances on Indigent Mail Campaign

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Step 1 and Step 2 Grievances on Indigent Mail Campaign

Prisoner filed Step 1 grievance in March 2016:

"I file this grievance against the Texas Board of Criminal Justice's revision to the TDCJ Correspondence Rules, effective 1st October 2013. This revision restricts indigent prisoners to five one-ounce domestic letters per month and removes all references to the first 60 days that a prisoner is indigent. Prisoners retain their First Amendment right to free speech (i.e. right to be free from unjustified governmental interference with communication). This revised policy violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments. It is also contrary to standards established in Guajardo v. Estelle, 580 F.2d 748. Guajardo established that 'prison furnished postage and stationary to indigent inmates for special and attorney correspondence and give additional letters per week without waiting period but with right to recoup amounts expended during the first 60 days.' Secondly, in light that general correspondence rules touch on the rights of persons not incarcerated to receive mail, this revision also violates the Constitutional Rights of my friends and family. Finally, there is no legitimate or rational basis (besides administrative convenience) for the increased communication restrictions on indigent prisoners. It is unreasonable, and unrelated to any legitimate interest in security, order or rehabilitation. Thank you for your understanding."

L. Doyle Sr. Warden Wayne Scott Unit responds:

"Investigation of your complaint has found that Ms. Grays, Law Library Supervisor is adhering to the Access to Courts, ATC-034 (Rev.6). No policy violations notes. No action."

Prisoner filed Step 2 grievance in March 2016:

"My grievance is against the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, NOT Ms. Gray the Law Library Supervisor the individual. My complaint in Step 1 was not resolved."

R. Pool, Asst. Program Administrator, Access to Courts, Counsel and Public Officials responds to Step 2 grievance:

"Step 1 has addressed your complaint. The Texas Board of Criminal Justice approved a revision to BP-03.91, Uniform Offender Correspondence Rules, on 08/23/13 that states, "... An indigent offender may use indigent postage to send five (5) one-ounce domestic letters per month to general correspondents and five items per week to legal or special correspondents... Funds expended by the TDCJ for postage and stationary for indigent offender's shall be recouped by the TDCJ from funds later deposited in the offender's ITF account." No further action is warranted."