Unlock the Box Research in Texas
I'm writing in regard to the Unlock the Box research. I myself am in administrative segregation, where we are confined to a cell for 23 hours a day, seven days a week. We're said to be allowed one hour a day recreation, in a day room with only a pull-up bar, toilet, and in some pods a table. It is only one person per dayroom. Twice a week we're allowed outside recreation in which we are locked inside a cage with four walls. On this recreation area there is one urinal, basketball, basketball goal, and pull-up bar. The "outside" part of it is conceived through the small amount of daylight we receive from the top of the cage that has no wall. Showers are given afterwards. In some situations or institutions rather, such as the one that I am in, we are escorted to the shower which is a tiny little space and locked in for a given time. On other units showers are built into the cell to assure the prisoner never has to come out, or that he comes out as little as possible.
Food is brought on a meal cart and received through a tray slot built into our cell door. Necessities are brought to us also, as is our mail. For any movement we are escorted by two officers and handcuffed behind our back. In some cases we're required to be shackled from ankle to waist to wrists.
There are no religious, education, or other services or programs given to us. Ramadan however is revered. There are approximately five hundred and four cells for administrative segregation here. However, there are also solitary confinement cells used for disciplinary reasons that follow similar circumstances. Inside our cell there is one toilet with sink connected, one desk, one steel bed, and a big light fixture with enough light to illuminate the small cell completely for when they turn them on by a control panel in the picket. The cell is measured at around ten by seven feet; though no completely, considering angles of one wall imposing over those measurements.
Ad-Seg here is only one building. The unit is about a three thousand man unit, consisting of general population, close-custody and medium-custody. There are some units that are entirely for Ad-Seg prisoners only. Some units that I know to have Ad-Seg are Allred Unit in Iowa Park, TX, Beto Unit in Tennessee Colony TX, Clements Unit in Amarillo TX, Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony TX, Conally Unit in Kenedy TX, Darrington Unit in Rosharon TX, Ellis Unit and Estelle Unit in Huntsville TX, Ferguson Unit in Midway TX, Hughes Unit in Gatesville TX, Lewis Unit in Woodville TX, McConnell Unit in Beville TX, Michael Unit in Tennessee Colony TX , Robertson Unit in Abilene TX, Smith Unit in Lamesa TX, Stiles Unit in Beaumont TX, Polunsky Unit in Livingston TX, and here where I am at Telford Unit in New Boston TX.
I'm sure there are others I'm unaware of. The unit I'm on was built around 1994 or 95. I believe that all maximum security units built at that time are built the same as this unit, Ad-Seg and all. That year was when the state built a lot of new prisons at once.
Most people back here in seg are primarily Latino, with whites falling in second and Blacks last. If I had to guess percentages, I would have to say about 60% Latino, 30% white, and 10% Black. If someone is confirmed as a gang member, he is put in ad seg. If he is considered a "threat to security", he is placed here. Or if he is in protected custody he is sent here. I am here for being a so-called "threat to security" for unjustified causes.
There are some units that have another unit next to them (though considered the same unit) that are entirely for ad seg only. therefore, some units have two separate entities of ad seg unit housings.
Shut Down the Control Units