Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Texas Prisons

Put ULK in your local community center, library, university, corner store. Send us $30 concealed cash with an address and we'll send you a stack of each issue for the next year. help out

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)

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)

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)

Lopez State Jail (Edinburg)

Luther Unit (Navasota)

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)

Robertson Unit (Abilene)

Rufus Duncan TF (Diboll)

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)

Wallace Unit (Colorado City)

Wayne Scott Unit (Angleton)

Wynne Unit (Huntsville)

Young Medical Facility Complex (Dickinson)

[Legal] [Campaigns] [Abuse] [Texas]
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Active Lawsuits on Texas Conditions

2017 DECEMBER — My beloved comrades at ULK, please take whatever steps necessary to convey this information to your readers, particularly those on the Texas plantations. It is my hope this will move a few to join in this all-out attack against mass incarceration, which those brothers on the Eastham Plantation are being persecuted for.

First, we have launched an attack on the totality of the living conditions on this plantation: double-celling, sleep deprivation, extreme heat, contaminated water, no toilets in the day rooms and rec yard, overcrowded showers. At present we have 5 lawsuits filed and hoping to have 5 more by the first of the year. They are listed at the end of this missive for those who might want to obtain copies and/or file for intervention. I would urge each plantation to file because each plantation has different violations, which in their totality are cruel and unusual.

Next, we have launched an at attack on the symbiotic-parasitic-relationship between Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the American Correctional Association (ACA). Last year we sent numerous letters to the ACA headquarters in Virginia with various complaints including the delayed posting of scheduled audits. Apparently someone was moved to do the right thing. Then notices for the January 2018 audit were posted here in October. As a result, we of the Community Improvement Committee (CIC) here on the unit have sent petitions with hundreds of names with numerous complaints of ACA violations and requests for a Q&A in the gym or chapel. This is being done with individual letters as well. Plus, we have sent the actual notice to various reform organizations requesting them to visit the unit during the audit and act as overseers pointing out particular areas of violations such as the giant cockroach infestation beneath the kitchen.

Next we have and intend to continue to urge the public to stay on top of their legislators to change the law, making it mandatory that prisoners be compensated for their labor.

Finally, we have filed an application for Writ of Habeas Corpus requesting to be released immediately due to the fact that the time sheet shows one has completed 100% of his sentence – that even without the good time, the flat time and the work time equals the sentence imposed by the court. In addition we are drafting something similar for those sentenced under the one-third law. We are submitting to the court that these prisoners have a short-way discharge date. The application for Writ of Habeas Corpus was first filed in the state court in Travis County and denied without a written order in the Texas court of criminal Appeals (#WR-87,529-01 Tr.Ct. No. D-1-DC-02-301765A). We are now in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District Tyler Division (McGee v Director, #6:17cv643). This info is supplied so that those with the means may download the info and/or keep track of the case. The following are the case numbers for the totality of living conditions complaint, which is also in the U.S. District in Tyler:

Walker v. Davis, et al., #6:17cv166
Henderson v. Davis, #6:17cv320
Douglas v. Davis, #6:17cv347
Burley v. Davis, #6:17cv490

The Devil whispers: "You can't withstand the storm"
The Warrior replied: "I am the storm." - The Mateuszm


MIM(Prisons) responds: These comrades are pushing the struggles to improve conditions inside Texas prisons along its natural course. Countless prisoners have sent grievances, grievance petitions, letters to the Ombudsman, letters to elected officials, and letters to various TDCJ administrators on these same issues. We have seen some victories, but mostly we've had barriers put in our way.

The next step laid out for us is to file lawsuits, which is another kind of barrier. Lawsuits take years and sometimes decades to complete, and innumerable hours of work. When we do win, we then have to go through additional lawsuits to ensure enforcement. And on and on it goes...

If we expect the lawsuits to bring final remedy, we must be living in a fantasy. A quintessential example of how the U.$. government behaves regarding lawsuits can be seen in how it totally disrespects treaties with First Nations. When the U.$. government, or its agencies, doesn't like something, they don't really give a shit what the law says. This has been true since the beginning of this government. We don't see any evidence that this will ever change.

Yet, lawsuits aren't all bad. They can sometimes create a little more breathing room within which revolutionaries can operate. Lawsuits can also be used to publicize our struggles, and to show just how callous the state is, if we lose.

Yet, most importantly, lawsuits keep comrades busy. Before any lawsuit, there needs to be a solid analysis of winability, and the likelihood of other options. While we are relatively weak as a movement, lawsuits are a fine option, and building a movement around these lawsuits will give them strength. But if your legal strategy doesn't also include building up collective power to eventually protect people without petitioning the state to do it, then your legal strategy is as useless as a feather in a tornado.

The comrades fighting these battles inside Texas have done a great job of spreading the word to outside organizations to garner support and attention for their lawsuits. We support their efforts to make Texas prisons more bearable for the imprisoned lumpen population, and we support their efforts to link these lawsuits to the greater anti-imperialist movement. And when they decide that lawsuits aren't enough to bring a real change in conditions, we'll support that too.

The U.$. legal system's role is to keep the United $tates government as a dominant world power, no matter what. The extreme heat in Texas prisons isn't just an oversight by administrators. And it's not even just about racism of guards. It is directly connected to the United $tate's role in the oppression and repression of oppressed nations across the world. If the legal system fails, don't give up. Try something else to bring it down. Lawsuits are not the only option.

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[Control Units] [Robertson Unit] [Texas]
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Solitary Confinement Ongoing in TX Despite Policy Changes

I would like to ask your staff a question. I recently received ULK 60 and it made a statement that solitary confinement was abolished in Texas in 2017. When I seen that, it floored me. I say that because i'm writing this letter FROM SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. So did I miss something? And if so, how can I fight from here to rectify the situation?

I let others read that and we all was stunned. I mean stunned. Are we reading this statement in your newsletter wrong?

Also we would like to know what is the Texas Pack and how can I obtain one? Your newsletter has shed light on a lot of things that are helpful for us in this place, and I just would like to say thank you and keep up the good work.


MIM(Prisons) responds: In September 2017, TDCJ announced it would no longer use solitary confinement for punishment, or as a method to encourage good behavior. It would "only" use "Administrative Segregation" (totally different from solitary confinement, right?) for "gang members, those at risk of escape, and those who are likely to attack other inmates."(1) That month, 4,000 people were still held in isolation on these grounds. Consider that only 75 prisoners were actually released from solitary confinement after this policy change.

We appreciate that this writer spoke up, because this is a very common practice. The Department says "we're not using it for punishment," while holding many, many people in isolation. The claim of gangs and security threats is often cited as the justification for the "exception" to their superficially-humanitarian publicity stunt.

Some examples include the Tier 2 program in Georgia, and the indefinite solitary confinement in California prisons that led to the hunger strikes in 2011-2013 and the Ashker settlement.

No matter what you call it, or what "justifications" are given for why it's used, solitary confinement is always torture, and never necessary. We have no doubts that solitary confinement can and should be ended, for everyone, today.

As for the Texas Pack, we are still updating and mailing this out. It's one of our more expensive projects, so we're asking for subscribers to send a donation of $2.50, or work-trade, to get the Texas Pack. This packet contains all our campaign info relevant to TDCJ, including on the grievance process, medical copay, and indigent mail restrictions. Send your donation to the address on p. 1, and tell us first if you want to send a check or M.O. so we can send instructions.

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[Abuse] [Medical Care] [McConnell Unit] [Texas]
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Promotions for abusive guards; medical neglect for prisoners

Sorry that I haven't written in a while. But I've been sick with a severe bout of sciatic nerve pain. Talking about pain, it's very very painful!

Well, I'm writing y'all this letter to let y'all know what's been happening here at the McConnell Unit.

First of all, to get the proper treatment for this sciatic nerve pain it took, of course, the involvement of my family. Because even though I had been to the hospital and I'd been prescribed some medications by a medical doctor, a P.A. was refusing to give me or prescribe me the medications. Why? Because she felt that I didn't need them. And this is because I could barely walk. Even with the crutches I had a lot of trouble walking. But once my family started to call things started to change.

It's so sad that in order to get treated properly we prisoners have to bother family members to call the unit and demand that we're given the required medical attention. Taxes that they pay so that we inmates do get that required medical attention when it comes that we need it. They sure are very quick in collecting the $100.00 co-payment when it comes to collecting it, but when it comes to treating the inmates we all go through hell getting the proper medical attention. It is how the injustice system works all around the United $tates.

Another thing is that about 2 or 3 months ago I filed a grievance and a Citizen's Complaint (through a family member) against a Lt. (Guevarra) for cussing at me. He went as far as to tell me that for me to remember I'm just a fucking number and nothing more. You won't believe what happened? What his punishment was? He was promoted from Lt. to Capt!

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[Medical Care] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]
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TB outbreak at Texas Wynne Unit not being prevented

I am incarcerated in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutional Division (TDCJ) at the John M. Wynne Unit. I damaged my left lung because I contracted tuberculosis here at this faculty. I had complained for over a year because I was seriously ill. It is apparent that I contracted the active disease here. Before Feb 26, 2016, all test results were 0.0, until Feb 28, 2016 it was 0.3 and then in March 3, 2017 it read 0.8.

I remain in day to day contact with people with the active disease cough infecting anyone who breathe the germs into their lungs. There are at least three other people in the last twelve months, that I have seen the TB germs multiply and cause illness here at this unit. Each of these individual had been tested, as I prior too and had not tested positive for TB. I was given test upon test and complained many times that I felt I had been exposed to TB and was not properly diagnosed until I went on bench warrant that it was confirmed, certainly.

I possibly exposed many for undoubtedly mine was indeed active. It is not being addressed and my most sincere concern is that this is allowed by the prison failing to properly respond to tuberculosis exposure. Outbreak of the disease is not being prevented. The latest incident was on March 9, 2018 in which a prisoner became so ill from TB he passed out and was brought to medical then taken to the hospital. I told a LWN nurse Latasha D. Franklin that he had TB and he caught it from me a year ago. The next day she thanked me for the info because they didn’t know what was wrong with him.

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[Abuse] [Terrell Unit] [Texas]
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Assaulted, Grieved, Charged with Assault

I would like to keep getting the Under Lock & Key issues so I could keep up with all the prison problems with drugs, gangs, and medical issues, and assault on offenders from TDCJ employees.

I know about the assaults on offenders by TDCJ employees because on 1-19-18 I was assaulted by physical force by a TDCJ employee from the C.T. Terrell Unit in Brazoria County, Rosharon, TX. I've done letters, grievances, I-60s, and even a 1983 and I get the case of a assault on an officer!

The Captain on the C.T. Terrell Unit said "My Officers do not lie." The case was fabricated to make it look like I was the assaulter, but I was without a case for over 12 years.

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[Abuse] [Dalhart Unit] [Texas]
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No Bathroom for Jailhouse Lawyers in Texas

I would like you to know, not to long ago this unit stopped offenders from being able to use the restroom during our session. I am in the law library every day up to 3 hour a day M-F without being able to use the restroom. But in this same building they allow offenders from GED, Cognitive Intervention, and Changes to be able to use the restroom. Its not right when you have offenders in the law library fighting criminal appeals, civil cases, grievances etc. and not able to use the same restroom the other offenders use who are not in the law library. Would you know if there anything that I could do to be able to get this unit to allow us to use the restroom without them ending our session?

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[Abuse] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]
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Organizations ignore fight against Texas corruption and abuse

I’ve received your January/February 2018, no. 60 ULK magazine which I feel is one of your best issues yet, full of very good information which I’ll definitely let out to others to read and then send out to a friend later on. As I’ve told you before, I am a Euro-Amerikan, Indian-Amerikan mix, 62 year old retired US military, 90% VA disabled retiree presently at the TDCJ nazi concentration camp Wynne Unit in the Oppressive/suppressive slave state of Texa$$.

Back in September, apparently at the direction of the Administration, the local Doctor, one Theodore R. Hall, began a campaign of removing people’s medical restrictions. In my case, without even having seen me. And then he retaliated on me after having me tossed from his office by removing even more of my restrictions. I immediately did an Informal Resolution to the UTM Health Care Administration Ms. Jaime Williams. No help there! I did a step 1 and step 2 Grievance with the usual predictable results and I’m certain the step 2 never left this unit as it only had a completion date with no signature and no ID No. of an investigator on it.

I wrote numerous offices, organizations, VA, Texas Vets, TIFA, Texas Civil Rights Project, and several lawyers for help. The only one that wrote back was Texas Vets and he was confused as to my predicament and so I got absolutely no help. I’m convinced TACJ is intercepting and destroying a lot of my mail seeking legal helps and to the Dept. of Justice.

I wrote the ARRM Administrator and Health Services Division who told me to use the Grievance Procedures even though I’d explain it doesn’t work and that I already had, the main Grievance office in Austin told me the same thing. I contacted the Texas Disability Rights Protection and Advocacy Agency who told me they could do nothing to help me, the International Humanitarian Law Institute in St. Paul, MN too. You name it, I’ve more than likely written to them as I wrote to at least 25 different places, no help at all. Not one lawyer or law organization has ever returned any sort of answer to me in years, nor have the DOJ, nor have any of the ACLU offices.

It seems that no one will take on the TDCJ or their very corrupt Parole Board. Speaking of which, I firmly believe it is because I am a very outspoken prison activist that I have not made parole yet, the first 3 times I received a 3 year set off. This time I got a 5 year set off until January, 2023. I think they will try to keep me and let me die in here due to their sleep deprivation, bad food, neglect, contaminated water and their “Health Care” routines. I haven’t been beaten or threatened or harassed by the Administration. Oh no, they do treat me very politely, it’s what goes on that I can’t be made privy to that worries me behind the scenes that they do in their paperwork and records.

On my parole denial they cited reason 2D in all 4 of my denials as being a threat/danger to society. You ought to see me, I hobble around on a cane and lose my breath in less than 50 yds, and I’m slow, everything hurts too. I have to lever myself up any time I get out of bed, onto the toilet, or off the seat in the chow hall and I can barely keep my food tray steady. This place is full of DANGEROUS old men :), pfffft! I definitely do not recommend this gated community and old folks home of Texa$$ to anyone, and the way we got treated and abused, well if you did it on the outside, they’d put them in prison. That’s exactly where ALL the pigs deserve to be put anyway!

I’ve also shared out to several people the Texas Grievance Pack you sent me and I’ve written for and given at least 6 Jailhouse Lawyer handbooks to likely inmates that will use them of all races of our apparently lower classes of our great ‘Merican society of the have-nots and poor and with any power to protect us from the Upper Elite Ultra Wealthy who actually run (ruin) our country.

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[Abuse] [Campaigns] [Mountain View Unit] [Texas]
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Dirty tricks frustrate grievances in Texas

I would like to participate in the grievance petition campaign for TDCJ in the state of Texas. I am tired of their dirty tricks, underhanded attempts to frustrate the grievance procedure - and render the "vehicle for review" ineffective.

Please send me several copies of the petition so that I can get on board. I have been locked up 10 yrs and I never had a major case. I was written 2 major cases 1 week apart (both are false) and sent to cell block for 6 months, good time taken & 2 lines taken. I want to raise attention to these tactics. I personally quoted policy to warden Kazmierczak, Major Holmes, and Captain Whitney Bruton on 3 different occasions to let them know this was wrong. All that happened was they got more angry and even our health care provider told them my medication was all legitimate. Thank you for your attention and help with this issue. Please send me up to date info that might help.

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[Abuse] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
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Telford gives arbitrary riot cases after peaceful protest

On the 9th of Feb a peaceful protest (sit in) was staged to protest early "rack up" because TDCJ was short staffed. The unit has been short staffed for awhile. So some prisoners protested, and TDCJ officers responded by "tear gasing" the whole pod. Thoses who were in their cells were gassed as well as the "sit in" group. They put the peaceful, non-violent protest group away in their cells.

The next few weeks some people received riot cases and some didn't. My cell mate was in the cell with me. He received a riot case. We thought that once they checked the cameras he would be shown not guilty. Well that was wrong. He got a case for rioting and we all got a case for rioting, because... well I don't know why. Just a report from Telford Unit.

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[Abuse] [Connally Unit] [Texas]
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Texas shipping prisoners around to cover up protests

Well, once again I’m writing to you so that it becomes known that Texas is at it again. The prison system is shifting its inmates around once more. Recently I wrote letting you know that 300 plus inmates had gotten shipped off to Pack 1 unit from Connally because they needed to fill it up due to inmates battling the conditions of heat related deaths who got shipped off that unit to try and stall or and disrupt the unified civil act that was filed. So in saying these units from Texas; Connally, Smith, Gibb Lewis, Eastham, Stevenson etc. sent inmates to fill in the bunks at Pack 1 Unit in Navaosta, TX.

Now we’ve been shipped back to our original units due to this civil act being won in the courts and those inmates having to be sent back to their original unit as well! The crazy thing is that the prison system tries its hardest to escape the responsibilities it has towards its subjects. This is a known practice! The bus ride to and from was no easy trip. Cramed like sardines and cuffed to each other and then having to endure the shifting and bouncing on the bus ride for for plus hours is not only annoying but dehumanizing as well!

Most of us who got shipped to Pack 1 have been on Connally unit over a decade and never experienced such circumstances and so it was confusing to go thru this situation. Now, the thing is that there is a rumor that some of us will go back as well once TDC puts in the AC units that those inmates won thru the courts. Sometime in April. But this only serves to encourage other inmates on other units to file suits as well and get this party going with the whole system statewide to put AC units in every prison.

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