TDCJ Exceeding Loss of Privileges Rule, Safety Violations and COVID-19
[…] Another matter that has become a prevalent problem within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is the DHOs on this unit doling out penalties imposed that are termed as “too severe”. They have it in their heads that they’re allowed to administer 60 days Commissary or Recreation restrictions. Contrary to this belief, the new GR-106 “Disciplinary Rules and Procedure for Offenders” (August 2019) – on page 19, section VII “Major disciplinary hearing: penalties” A.1.(c) remaining unchanged from the previous (Feb. 2015) revision that “Loss of privileges not to exceed 45 days per disciplinary case.” This means no more than 45 days per I-47MA: regardless of how many cases are listed on the form.
My having just copied the TDCJ E.D.-03.76 (Rev. April 17, 2019) and on page 2, section III A, it is ordered by the Executive Director, Bryan Collier, that upon the request the [Counsel substitutes office] shall give each Offender a copy of the August 2019 R-106. No longer can they merely refer you to the law library to view the copy in there. Also, in this E.D.-03.76, take a close look at the “POLICY” wording. This “policy” is reiterated in the A.D.-04.35’s (June 17, 2019) “POLICY” which covers “review of Offender Disciplinary Actions.” In this same A.D. (04.35), at section III “Offender Grievance Review” the Investigators of your appeal may now “modify the penalty”, or “modify the charges” in lieu of simply dismissing the bloody case and having a new hearing.
I cannot help but believe that this “new(?)” ability to “modify” the punishment or charge is a MONEY thing. After all, it is presented to me Upon Information & Belief: the DHOs receive a boon, bounty, reward, or even let’s say a monetary incentive for running disciplinary hearings and finding the inmate/defendant guilty. There is a certain amount of funds allocated by the TDCJ Agency to each unit for the running of disciplinary cases. For each individual case written and run there is an amount transferred from this allocation. And when the inmate/defendant is found guilty the DHO receives a stipend (a fixed sum of money paid periodically for services to compensate for expenses), too, from this allocation. Therefore, the guilty ruling is upheld in any creative manner imaginable. This is my opinion; violation of due process –except, the Texas Criminal Appeals system are pulling the same shit on direct appeal.
To this turn of events and revealings of “how it is” I refer to the above mentioned E.D.-03.76 & A.D.-04.35 “POLICIES” both of which vehemently state the “TDCJ staff shall not order, require, suggest, or in any manner, either directly of indirectly, impose disciplinary quotas… Inappropriate disciplinary actions are strictly prohibited…” If such Information & Belief is true: the TDCJ is in Big Trouble.
NOTE OF REQUEST: In the E.D.-03.76 it is referenced as one of its Authorities the B.P.-02.08. This B.P. is not available to me through the Law Library. I feel that it might be of great assistance in the cause for me to procure a copy of it. Would y’all be so kind as to supply me with a one, please? […]
I have formulated and filed a second state tort suit against TDCJ Agency Personnel Staff in their Professional & Personal capacities. This one is in regards to the watering-down of the training standards of “new Boots/OJTs” in increasing the hazardousness of the overall environment on the Old Red Brick Prisons with mechanical uniform-rolling doors. On 26 June 2019, a one half inch of my left thumb was ripped – with the nail – from my hand when the doors were closed; void of adequate notification/warning/announcement of the door’s closure. I managed to file it on 9 March 2020. I know enough about civil action filings to know that professional assistance will significantly enhance my chance of success. If y’all know someone who is willing and qualified in the wranglings of civil tort actions, I would greatly appreciate an opportunity to interact with that person(s). […]
We are on lock-down/quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic; wearing masks any time we leave the cell, yet, before the lock-down I spent 90% of my time in the cell. There is nothing in that day-room or TV that is going to assist my efforts to overturn my conviction. I spend my waking hours indefatigably doing legal oriented activities – for SEVEN years now.
At the same time I pray fervently for y’all to be successful in locating the up-to-date TDCJ “Offenders Grievance Operations Manual” (OGOM) because we Texas Prisoners NEED to know the parameters and rules under which the Offender Grievance Program is operated. This is akin to navigating an obstacle course blindfolded with our hands tied behind our backs. There has to be someone out there capable of navigating the Texas TDCJ website and finding this document/publication.
They say there are about 15 inmates here with… well… they are in a wing all to themselves; whether they actually have the virus is not divulged to us across the hall from them. There are about 3 or 5 wings absolutely quarantined and shut down at this time. Everyone is under orders to wear the inmate-manufactured masks – two layers of T-shirt material with tie strings sewed into a rectangle. It’s squirrelly, not every prisoner is sequestered to his cell, there are a bunch of prisoners going around doing slave-work for the Agency personnel staff.
This is Hardhead signing off until next time.