Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Texas Prisons

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www.prisoncensorship.info is a media institution run by the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. Here we collect and publicize reports of conditions behind the bars in U.$. prisons. Information about these incidents rarely makes it out of the prison, and when it does it is extremely rare that the reports are taken seriously and published. This historical record is important for documenting patterns of abuse, and also for informing people on the streets about what goes on behind the bars.

We hope this information will inspire people to take action and join the fight against the criminal injustice system. While we may not be able to immediately impact this particular instance of abuse, we can work to fundamentally change the system that permits and perpetuates it. The criminal injustice system is intimately tied up with imperialism, and serves as a tool of social control on the homeland, particularly targeting oppressed nations.

Allred Unit (Iowa Park)

Beto I Unit (Tennessee Colony)

Bexar County Jail (San Antonio)

Bill Clements Unit (Amarillo)

Billy Moore Correctional Center (Overton)

Bowie County Correctional Center (Texarkana)

Boyd Unit (Teague)

Cameron County Detention Center (Olmito)

Choice Moore Unit (Bonham)

Clemens Unit (Brazoria)

Coffield Unit (Tennessee Colony)

Connally Unit (Kenedy)

Cotulla Unit (Cotulla)

Dalhart Unit (Dalhart)

Darrington Unit (Rosharon)

Dominguez State Jail (San Antonio)

Eastham Unit (Lovelady)

Ellis Unit (Huntsville)

Estelle 2 (Huntsville)

Estelle High Security Unit (Huntsville)

Ferguson Unit (Midway)

Formby Unit (Plainview)

Garza East Unit (Beeville)

Gib Lewis Unit (Woodville)

Hamilton Unit (Bryan)

Harris County Jail Facility (Houston)

Hightower Unit (Dayton)

Hobby Unit (Marlin)

Hughes Unit (Gatesville)

Jester III Unit (Richmond)

John R Lindsey State Jail (Jacksboro)

Jordan Unit (Pampa)

Lane Murray Unit (Gatesville)

Larry Gist State Jail (Beaumont)

LeBlanc Unit (Beaumont)

Lopez State Jail (Edinburg)

Luther Unit (Navasota)

Lychner Unit (Humble)

Lynaugh Unit (Ft Stockton)

McConnell Unit (Beeville)

Michael Unit (Tennessee Colony)

Middleton Unit (Abilene)

Montford Unit (Lubbock)

Mountain View Unit (Gatesville)

Neal Unit (Amarillo)

Pack Unit (Novasota)

Polunsky Unit (Livingston)

Powledge Unit (Palestine)

Ramsey I Unit (Rosharon)

Ramsey III Unit (Rosharon)

Robertson Unit (Abilene)

Rufus Duncan TF (Diboll)

Smith County Jail (Tyler)

Smith Unit (Lamesa)

Stevenson Unit (Cuero)

Stiles Unit (Beaumont)

Stringfellow Unit (Rosharon)

Telford Unit (New Boston)

Terrell Unit (Rosharon)

Torres Unit (Hondo)

Travis State Jail (Austin)

Vance Unit (Richmond)

Victoria County Jail (Victoria)

Wallace Unit (Colorado City)

Wayne Scott Unit (Angleton)

Wynne Unit (Huntsville)

Young Medical Facility Complex (Dickinson)

[Abuse] [Hobby Unit] [Texas]
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Staff Ignoring Assaults

I just want to thank you for the Texas Pack. It's quite sad the things that are kept from us so that we ignore the corruption. Let me tell you what's going on with me.

I did a I-127 to appeal a case and 40 days passed without me hearing from the grievance lady. Your packet came today and pretty much walked me through what I needed to do next, becuase I had no cle. The case that I'm appealing lowered my custody level to G4. This goes to the next set of problems I've occured.

I did an Offender Protection Investigation (OPI) because an offender who was also G4 wes Gun Ho on kicking my ass. They failed to investigate properly, then said "unsubstantiated evidence" even though officers seen what happened.

It's so much that happened with not enough room to write. But I'll keep it basic.

They moved me to another dorm. And a few days ago I got assaulted by another offender. That's right man, hit on my right eye with a scratch under my eye. The officer that seen it said nothing about seeing it, yet she called an "ICS." The offender that did it was G2 status and should not have been mixed with G4s. OPI was done that rank did not want to do. So a fighting case was wrote. The other offender denied of course and "I folded." That was my statement. I walked out with a march and they allowed the offender to go to work.

Now they have me on a unit transfer, but this offender has not been held accountable for her action. How do I press the issue on this when no one is talking?

Before I walked out my building I had no marks, but as soon as I step outside in less than 2 minutes I'm being escorted to medical.

PTT from MIM(Prisons) responds: This report shows how much effort Texas prison staff put into protecting prisoners. Seeking protection from staff offers predictable results. Sometimes they'll listen, and sometimes they'll transfer you. That's if you're lucky. Most of the time they pretend they didn't see it, never got the grievance, etc.

If we want to end the assaults, we can ask ourselves: what are the core issues causing these assults? When that's clear, we can ask: will staff do anything to address those core issues? It would probably benefit them to do so, but decades of practice shows they likely won't put in the effort to make that kind of difference.

So this report also shows the importance of prisoners building their own peace in prisons. We have a slightly different approach to ending these assaults than this writer. This might sound crazy, but what we're working toward is helping prisoners build a culture of comradery and peacefulness on their units, so that this kind of behavior is not tolerated among the prisoner population.

When this comrade asks us what we think ey can do to end the assaults, we don't advocate for more punishment from admin on the people committing the assaults. We advocate for building bridges, improving communication, and standing together in a United Front for Peace in Prisons.

That work is NOT EASY. But if we want to end assaults in prisons, and if we want to build a society that isn't centered around unnecessary violence, then we have to commit to doing the hard work. No one is going to hand us a world free of oppression and exploitaion. We have to build that ourselves. And that's a beatiful thing. To be alive and have the opportunity to contribute to the future in this way.

MIM(Prisons) does everything we can to help support prisoners in this task, including providing education opportunities, organizing materials, and resources (like the Texas Pack). What of those materials and concepts would improve the situation with these prisoners who seek to cause you harm? Grievances and OICs aren't working, and probably will never really work. So what do WE need to do about it?

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[Organizing] [Beto I Unit] [Texas]
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Ambivalence in Texas Prisoner Organizing

I have been trying to organize a new group but I am failing. People here want things done but don't want to do it themselves. I help with what I can. They don't want to grievance the officers because they are worried about retaliation. In short, they are scared of a case and not making commissary.

I am fighting them and putting paper whenever I can. Shortly after I received my packet, I got a frivolous case for failing to go to work. I was on my way to my wing from work and didn't make it out the door. I had two offenders, a sergeant, and a kitchen captain as witnesses. The Lieutenant running the case said that he didn't give a f*** and that I was guilty. This was in May.

I filed a Step 1 but never got an answer. I did a I-60 request for the Step 1 grievance number. I got it with a request for a 40-day extension, 89 days after I filed the grievance and 11 days after I requested it, but predated for the week before I requested it by I-60. I did file a Step 2 without the Step 1 attached (I never got the Step 1) in October 2019.

I can't wait to hear from Huntsville and the Ombudsman over all of this. Since I have no family out there, they are trying to ignore me. I refuse to go away.

In the meantime, I will keep writing and fighting this injustice $ystem that we are in. I will keep sharing my Texas Pack. I could use some group information that might help me if I can get one going again. They want to but don't want to. I don't get it.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We commend this comrade for sticking up for eirself, and "staying committed even when your homies ain't with it" (shout out to Dead Prez). Even though it can be totally baffling and frustrating when people want to but don't want to, know that you're not alone in facing that challenge. Prison life is designed to make people ambivalent (or even completely disinterested) and handling that ambivalence is all part of the process of building for revolution and a new society. Accepting it as just part of the process can help us to not get frustrated by it.

We had a lot of discussion about the topic of how to organize people who are ambivalent in ULK 66, which was on the topic of Recruitment and Retention for Revolution. We are sending this comrade a copy of that ULK and a few more to study and share. And we encourage everyone to continue to send us updates on what it's like in the facility where you're held. We publicize conditions reports on our website www.prisoncensorship.info, and conditions reports about organizing help us consolidate and support the national liberation struggles developing inside U.$. prisons. In Struggle!

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[Campaigns] [Bill Clements Unit] [Texas]
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Laws Exploit Loopholes in Grievance Procedure

The issue that I'm working on here at the Clements Unit is what the laws here call "time out." By the way, I received the Texas Pack and it has been a huge help. I can't thank you enough.

Anyways, when a law decides to harass an inmate, and gets a response he don't like, they place you in restraints and escort you do the Administration building, and put you in a holding cell with no restroom. There ain't no PHD(?) cells on that building. And they leave you in there for hours.

So while you're gone, your property is just wide open for grabs. Officers hate to inventory property but they quick to lock you up. So when you file a grievance, grievance staff try to save these laws by screening the complaint, and putting the wrong grievance code. So the objective is to stop all that deliberate indifference, and stop the due process violations and make it better for the next man. And the Texas Pack is one of the tools I needed to get me started.

If officers put as much effort into inventorying your property as they do locking you up on PHD, we wouldn't have to file property claims. But no, they use your property loss as a retaliation act.

So what I did is, on my complain (I-127), my opening statement made it clear that I was filing on the guidelines outlined under grievance code #515 (property lost/missing/stolen/damaged). Because if you don't state the grievance code, the investigator may put a different code. Grievance codes 512 through 515 consist of issues about property here in Texas.

Also, I was going through my past complaints (I-127s) and the action you request to resolve your situation could change the grievance code number. So be careful, and make sure your resolution request runs consistent with your statement of complaint. Because if you file a harassment complaint, and you request that a case be overturned, the grievance will be graded as "improper." "Staff harassment" is grievance code #812, but if you mention that you want the case he wrote you to be overturned, then it changes the issue. Then the complaint conflicts with the resolution, so therefore the grievance becomes "improper."

And I'm sure that is mentioned in the grievance manual that Texas hides. So inmates become frustrated because they don't understand and give up. Then the law wins again. Much love to MIMP and all my fellow inmates.

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[Hunger Strike] [Campaigns] [Hughes Unit] [Texas]
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Initiated Hunger Strike on Tuesday November 19, 2019

I have exhausted myself mentally and physically, trying to exhaust my remedies by forms of letters, requests, verbally and grievances. All my efforts have failed due to corruption within the system, my unit, and those who don't respond to any forms of correspondence.

On 31 October 2019, we were placed on annual lockdown. On 19 November 2019 shakedown made it to our building and section. The officers came in to [my row] and took [my row and section] to the gym to be searched of their properties and person. They were allowed to be present during the search of their properties.

Once they were returned to [my row] and secured, rank and officers changed procedures and pulled all inmates from their cells to the passive rec yard. This left officers and rank to toss cells and property without the inmates present. All other cells were allowed to return to their houses, leaving me in the rec yard 1 hour longer than others.

Once I was allowed to return to my cell, I realized they went through all my legal documents, taking more of my legal and my used typewriter ribbons I was saving as proof of all my legal work, grievances, I-60s, appeals, court filings, letters to everyone.

I called for rank all day and have been refused this request now for 4 days. I told officers on the floor in detail of the illegal theft by shakedown staff. The shakedown crew gave me no confiscation papers, which is theft and against my 5th and 6th Amendment rights of "due process."

All this occurred after I sent out 3 withdrawal slips to file against the unit in the U.S. District Courts. On 11 August 2019, officers had once again robbed my legal documents, legal mail, grievances, new typewriter, family photos, commissary, etc. Again not allowing inventory papers nor confiscation papers. I have been filing Step 1s and Step 2s, only to be given non-conclusive answers, or not given the grievances back in return, unattaching evidence and claiming nothing was attached, etc. You know what they do to us.

At the same time, the law library is denying/ignoring our requests to access any legal materials. Another incident occurred of theft by officers on 24 July 2018, which was the same. They took some of my legal documents, family photos, medications, etc. Long of the short I have gotten nowhere by following procedures, policies, grievances, etc.

I have no choice but to take this stand to my hunger strike. Every time they rob my legal transcripts, free world documents, grievance copies, family photos, typewriter, etc. this affects my fight for freedom, my constitutional rights, civil rights, etc. My state of mind is being driven to a state of depression. This hunger strike is taking its toll as of day 4. Today I sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott about my hunger strike and reasons. If I don't make it through this peaceful stand, please make sure others don't give up the fight. Thank you for your continued support.

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[Control Units] [Eastham Unit] [Texas]
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Ad-Seg "Changed" to "Restricted Housing"

I'm writing because I just got your mag, but the mailroom takes its time in getting our mail around to us, especially to us in Ad-Seg. Or wait, they changed the name. It's called "Restricted Housing" (R.H.). Yet, nothing's changed, it's still the same.

It used to be for all STG-gangs, but here in Texas they just put anyone back here, so this place is now full of people that get into fights, don't want to work, or people who do minor stuff out there in G.P., and once here they take years to let them back out.

So because of this, they have changed so much for people like me who has been back here since 88, because I was a gang member (Mexican Mafia). So every time I come back into the system I get put back here. But since 05 I left the gang and have been trying to get into a program called GRAD (Gang Renunciation and Dissociation).

I want out of this "R.H." because there's nothing back here for me. I want to get out to G.P. where I can do something instead of just sitting here doing nothing. Hell, ever since this year started we haven't been given our recreation like we should get, in their Ad-Seg plan. Since the start of this year we've gotten rec once or twice each month!

What sucks is we have no unity here to try and get this back to how it should be, one line might bang and any other ways to get this rank to come talk to us, but all they do is put us on a 24 hr lockdown type of thing (since we're already in lock up) and feed us Johnnies.

I tried going with the grievance, Steps One and Two, but was told we were given the chance to go to rec, and if we don't go that's on us. But how is that since they KNOW Ad-Seg guys can't just walk out of our cells like guys in G.P.?

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[Campaigns] [Abuse] [Hobby Unit] [Texas]
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Hobby Unit not Run by TDCJ Rules

Can you please send me a Texas Pack 2019? I am at Hobby Unit and things here are in very bad shape. Guards doing what they want to inmates. Pulling our property to the day room and letting other offenders have what they want. Officer hitting inmates for no reason. Our grievances not getting answered.No water, no in and outs for water.

This place is not run by TDCJ rules. Please help me with sending me the Texas Pack so I can write someone for help. Thank you.

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[Release] [Texas]
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Paroling to Private Facility, Can't Work

I'm writing this that I need help. I'm at a Geo Inc / TDCJ contract facility. They are violating my freedom for I made parole and can't get my SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) while I'm here at this halfway house / prison. Forcing us to do labor and not paying us, while we are on parole. Plesae help me, to see what I can do. Thank you.

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[Abuse] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
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Dangerous Heat, Electrical Problems, and Medical Neglect at Talford Unit

I was in I Pod in a cell that ended up having an electrical problem, which is a Facility Maintenance issue and should have been fixed A.S.A.P. Whenever the floor officer would come around for count and the picket boss would turn on the cell lights, it was knocking my power out. And not only mine but 3 other's beside mine. There are two people to each cell and no power means no fan; and it doesn't take long to start overheating in a prison cell in the Texas heat!

When it first happened, me and my celly along with the occupants of one other cell refused to go back into the cell when they put everyone up at night. So 4 of us sacked the day-room. The officers and Sgt understood, and got our power back on after about 30 minutes. So we went back in. There was a note put in the picket to not flick cell lights on. But every day, whoever was in the cell during count was stuck with no power because they would turn cell lights on despite the note. Sometimes the power would be returned relatively fast, about 10 minutes. But more often than not, the COs would finish count, which meant the power would not return for another hour or two.

I have cardiovascular disease and am on a *heat restriction*: I cannot be housed on 3rd Row because of this. I seen nothing was being done about the power outages so I wrote an I-60 to the warden which got put in the mail early Friday morning. The following Monday I was moved out of the Faith Based Pod and to another Pod, which caused another issue because I was put on a top bunk which is a risk because of the fainting I sometimes experience due to my heart condition. I told Medical; they said my bottom bunk restriction expired. I explained to the nurse the heart condition and symptoms. The nurses can issue a 3 day pass plus a follow-up with DA. But instead she was negligent and said there was nothing she could do and gave me a sick call request. I turned that in a week ago and am still on the top bunk.

Since I've been in this new pod I found out they still haven't fixed the maintenance problem of the previous one. There was a 57 year old American Citizen from Pakistan there in the cell next to mine and his cell was also affected by the power outages. He was on psych meds and heat restriction. He had an anxiety attack when the power was knocked out and was locked up for threatening to kill the CO. In my eyes, this was really a provoked issue because the safety and health hazard arose from a failure to properly maintain the facility. This could have been, or still may be, fatal to someone.

It is very hot 24/7 in TX prisons in summertime. A few months ago, a 29 year old inmate at the Robinson Unit died of heat stroke. This seems to happen every year during summer. At what point is it considered homicide? Murder? To me that's exactly what it is.

I've been spending a lot of time in the Law Library. I plan to write grievances on these issues.

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[Medical Care] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
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Medical Neglect at Telford Unit

I hope this letter finds you all in the best of health & spirits. As for myself, I'm not doing too good! I am in a great deal of pain in my back and testicles due to nerve pain. I was seen on 7-31-19, I believe, and a non-formulary [drug] was requested but denied. I was told by the provider that if I didn't receive the pain medication in a few days to send an I-60 (Request to Officials) to be seen again. I did so on the fourth of August; I still have not been seen. I've also filed grievances and sick calls. It is the prison's policy as well as UTMB (contracted medical care), for inmates to be seen within 10 days of being evaluated by a sick call nurse. I've seen the sick call nurse 3 times already. I turned in my carpel tunnel splint because it was sabotaged when I forgot it on rec. yard. Medical still hasn't provided a replacement even though they have them in their supply stock.

I'm sending you this letter because I wanted to see if you can contact Health Services in Huntsville, Texas (936-437-3618) and report this for me. There should be at least one medical practice manager on this unit, but there isn't and as a result I'm being denied medical care. I'm also in need of the book Protect your Health & Safety or something like that; an inmate told me about it a while back, but since I'm indigent and halfway through my sentence I was hoping I wouldn't need it. I was mistaken.

They allowed my jailhouse lawyer's manual and Texas supplement issue to be stolen last year when I was raped and they lied to me saying it was in my property and I signed the property papers only to find out it was not in there. Can you please help me with the protect your health and safety book ro refer me to someone who may be able to help me?

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[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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Fighting Suicide and Drug Abuse in TDCJ

I am bringing you an update from inside this Texas Gulag or should I just say Konzentration Kamp, to be exact.

I received my last package from you: the writing tips, more about MIM, how to start a Study Group and the material for the study group I just enrolled in. As I look over all the material, I already started scoping out cadres I will offer the Study Group to. But I want to first build a curriculum before I actually start this group. I have pulled two soldiers to the side, teaching them with what I got. And as we advance in our study group, I will offer my comrades to be a part of the positive peaceful movement I want to establish within this battlefield with the sole purpose of eradicating the criminal mentality and promoting a revolutionary state of mind which will help bring both Unity and Change within our prison conditions. The Militia, a group of conscious, mature-minded men. So stay tuned on updates of the building of this brotherhood of leaders.

In other news, the suicide rate in TDCJ was up 40% in 2018. Yearly suicide attempts have nearly tripled since 2009 going from 700 to 2,000. This is due to the lack of rehabilitation if you ask me: Texas has more prisoners than any other state yet they offer no counseling. I see a lot of suicide attempts; a lot because of the Slave Job (Texas Prisoners still don't get paid for work). No good time, work time, nothing. But they are making a killing through TCI. Here on the Michaels Unit, we teamed up with Administration to start a Suicide Prevention Squad which allows us to offer the people an ear to talk to and even a voice to give feedback.

K-2 is like crack now. If they give us K-2 and flood the inmate general population that will give us more to fight about while distracting us from what's important. Like issues stemming from over-crowding, or how we are still battling inhumane conditions due to the torching heat. When we ask for respite in designated areas, it's still too crowded. They already got down on some of those brothers under the Heat Lawsuit that was won. TDCJ was supposed to Air Condition certain units, they did, but are already having issues with the cooling system. It's still hot as hell with no solution to this issue. Then to top it off, a lot of brothers under the Lawsuit were shipped to other units. I thought they were protected under the Lawsuit.

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