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)

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)

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)

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)

[Organizing] [Bill Clements Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 66]
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Sack the Sack Lunches

I've always been revolutionary-minded, but it's a struggle here in Bill Clements Unit. Here's one example that happened early last month. I work in the laundry. Well all of us are waiting for them to call for chow (lunch), but all of a sudden the C.O.s running chow forget to feed laundry! So the chow C.O.s tell the laundry C.O. that they are going to give us sack lunches. All of a sudden, this is the sad part, a bunch of my fellow coworkers are going back into the laundry. Well a few of us spoke up saying we've been working and are NOT going to accept a sack lunch. Eventually they opened the chow hall for us. Well I guess this is all for now. Again thank you for all you do.


MIM(Prisons) Texas Coordinator responds: Small incidents like this one might seem inconsequential to many people, like those guys who just went back to laundry when told they were gonna get sack lunches. These are small wins that make a huge impact on people's minds, though. Showing people little successes like this whenever we can helps plant seeds in their consciousness about resisting oppression and standing up for themselves. It was a completely fair argument to make, that the C.O.s made a mistake and should fix it. So rather than get hung up on how sad it is that so many people just were going accept the sack lunches, i think it was really great that so many people got to see what having a backbone looks like in real life. Inevitably, this is what inspires people to grow their own backbones and start standing up for themselves. Thanks for this awesome report.

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[Abuse] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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Health Risks from Asbestos in Old Prisons

I was placed in a cell here in ad. seg. housing, which is unhealthy with escaping toxic fumes (paint chipping, amosite/brown asbestos, from cement, and some of these cells have contaminated ceiling tiles.) Kept me tired, minor headaches, diarrhea, at times difficult to breathe. So to our People incarcerated in these 'Old Prisons" shall educate ourselves on these Hazard chemicals.

From the book: Silent Killers: Radon & Other Hazards by Kathlyn Gay: Asbestos deadly fibers, natural mineral fiber in rocks, patching compounds, textured paint, wrapping for heating ducts and water pipe insulation, floor & ceiling titles, roofing shingles, cement, plaster (strengthen concrete and sound proof) etc. Well just a small note and big thanks on the readings.

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[Legal] [Terrell Unit] [Texas]
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Helping Each Other is Only Legal Assistance Behind Bars

I do not know how I'll be received, I don't see myself as a revolutionary, I've been fighting the state for religious rights in two separate Civil Rights suits. I've also been assisting others with various legal issues, from Appeals, Habeas Corpus, Grievances, Divorces, Civil Rights suits etc. I do these things to help those in need because it is the right thing to do.

Our Law libraries are archaic and we are on our own to do research and file anything, no help from Law Library staff, just each other. The policies and practices in the Law Library are designed to hinder us, not to help. So, any information or materials that would be helpful, please consider me when distributing it. Thank You!

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[Censorship] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]
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Illegal Censorship of Subscriptions

I often never receive my Popular Mechanics magainzes or my Bud K Knives catalogs I've subscribed to. I'm not denied them, they just don't get here to me. I've written to both numerous times and never have heard back from them. They also often lay blame on the local post office for various reasons as well.

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[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Punished for Reporting Abuses at Ferguson

I am at a really bad unit named Ferguson Unit at midway Texas, about 20 miles from Huntsville, TX. At this unit I have shown the rules, policies, procedures, practices, of T.D.C.J. with other offenders saying, "Oh well, we have been punished for made up rules, given cases, violating our rights in every way. Grievances do no good even the bosses tell the others who, what, when, on them." Yeah it causes many problems for me. The pigs get away with so much that the oh well offenders (OW) let them talk them up. At an inspection, a group asked if we seen any roaches, rats. We said no. But this one guy said there was. The inspector said "oh that's why they only wanted to show this dorm." The L.T. here stated "oh yeah tomorrow you're on lock down." We are. The food is all mush soups. Types of food portions so small that I see us that do not have commissary, are about sick. One hot dog, one sandwich, food unprepared or clean.

Here is a kicker. I came here to repair equipment because I am an equip mec for 30 years, professional. I seen a lot that this farm shop was selling parts to equip that it was not put on, or put in trash. I wrote the main O.I.G. (Offender Inspector General). It was all turned on being my fault, and to mind my business. Wow, I was talked to really bad still watching them break the laws.

I did everything I could to be sent to a different work camp. We are abused, fed mediocre food. They strip us out multiple times going out to work. Search us multiple times, the bad is other (oh wells) oh drown us. Us that would file grievances, or lawsuits they try to beat us up.

They see I don't back down, I seem to not get it through their heads if the unit don't get stopped from violating their rules, policies, the more they are restricted from little freedoms. They are blind.

I've spoke to many about this with same issue, no one wants to stand in unity. This is the worst unit I have been on.

Here's the problem. The unit has all kids with few older guys. The kids are doing so much stealing from kitchen doing this and that! Going dorm to dorm. Really doing free will. Without realizing if it was not for someone like me they would not have any type of T.V., radio, so much as their house. What am I to do? No talking to them.

We spoke to a SGT Andrew Sey about why we're on lock down and made to get up at 6AM on our day off to clean a dorm that has SSI. "Because if someone tells Huntsville inspectors B.S. on us, you can't write grievances on us because we can lock the dorm down for not being clean." Our Dorm is the cleanest I've seen. This unit that abuses us in ways that they believe we can't do anything about. The kitchen C/O Stubble Field has these same guys feed us so they give 3/4 scoops of portions. Pans are not on a warmer, uncooked, nasty to eat.

The pigs use things like "this is a disciplinary unit". I said what did I do to be put on disciplinary? I've seen nothing about some sidewalk rules in no T.D.C. It's just this unit. How can I get help? I've written every rights group there is with no help or any reply.

I am forced to repair the equipment, threatened by them. They do it in ways that shoulder the policy. How can I fight this unit's every grievance, every I60, they use other offenders against me for doing it.

I'm asking you for help! Any new forms I could use to guide me to file them, I can't seem to word them well. The food, the abuse, at the end of everything I've done nothing works.

We are made to get up at 4AM lights on, say name, number and then at other counts the dorm C/O wakes you up. Then cross count also. These C/Os enforce rules that do not exist. The inmates follow them like dogs, they let them put things in their ear.

Do you in any way have forms for me to copy on my own as in about abuse, food, C/Os, I need help wording how to write it legal, I want to file a suit. Last year during shakedown they burnt us up in the sun naked out of spite for hours.

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[Abuse] [Stiles Unit] [Texas]
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Beaten by pigs in Texas

I got jumped in some seg office. Yeah man, they fucked me up pretty bad. Shit, I woke up in the ER down in Huntsville. They beat the brakes off me while I was in handcuffs. There were five or six of em. All white! One of them fools was sitting on my back pony-style punching away at my head and face. The shit was so bad (I heard) that some sistas who saw that shit were crying rivers of tears. Many these people just grabbed me out of the hallway took me to an empty seg fofice and called me a nigger about a thousand times. After they did me bad, this one racist ass mutherfuckah came back over to me while I was laying there in handcuffs and put his knee on the side of my head and started crushing away. The whole time he was on my head with all of his weight, rocking back and forth like he was on some "Immah finish me a nigger off type shit."

Like I said, I blacked out wit this fool on top of my head. The crazy part is that I have witnesses that saw this fool beat for me right out of the hallway. But anyway, they did the old assault on an officer case to try to cover for what they did. Man I aint' never had no assault on an officer case. And I been coming to this place since 1985.

I been having real problems with headaches, nose bleeds, forgetting stuff and a lot more. They shipped me to this unit after they ran me through the ringger (court). I been dropping sick call request forms for three months now and they still ain't seen me for injuries. Th handcuffs that they were dragging me around by, done fuck up the nerves in my wrist and hands. I cannot even sleep at night cause the pain is unbearable at times. I be thinking about moving on with my life but my shit ain't right. So I got to file suit on they ass. Them fools almost killed me.

Comrade, man, I am 51 years old. And I was 50 when they done that stupid shit. I got a little over three years left on my ten year sentence. I had a few talks with some old heads that's been on that unit Eastham and they all said the same thing, it's a racist ass unit. And they just assault blacks just for the thrill of it.

I am writing y'all with an emergency stamp cause these folks be blocking my use of the indigent mail system for three months now. Making all types of bogus claims. I done filed three different grievances. It's been a real struggle. But anyway imma get back with y'all on this stupid ass not cause this ain't attorney client privileged. Whenever I do get indigent supplies I'll hit you up with a real letter. They got me in Seg G5 status. This some crazy shit. For beating me the fuck up!

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[Abuse] [Legal] [McConnell Unit] [Texas]
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McConnell Abuse and Lawsuits Update

There's quite a bit going on here at the McConnell Unit. A lot of retaliation going on against prisoners.

Supposedly there's a lawsuit pending against TDCJ that will be ruled on by March 2018. Regards to sleep deprivation. And because of that a lot of retaliation has been going on against us prisoners. Like for example, we get woken up at the middle of the night (between 12am and 2am) for roster bed book count time, which some guards (officers) will go way over board by forcing every prisoner to get out of bed to show, present his ID and face. And or they will turn on all of the lights to the whole Pod and leave them on until counts cleared. Some days they'll do that throughout the whole day. No such policy exists that says that the lights are to stay on until count clears. Or the officers will come and wake up whoever's cubicle number is on the list to be searched at around 1am to do the search. When policy specifically says that searches should be done by rack up time. Which on most days it's by 10:30pm Sgt. Ukandu was asked about it and I can't believe the response that he gave. He said, that because they are always short of staff it is why that they can't really follow policies. In other words it's okay for them to violate policies because they are short staffed. What do y'all think?

Lately I've been having a lot of problems with a guard that's been stalking, intimidating, retaliating, and harassing me. I've just filed my 6th or 9th grievance against her. Last year it got so bad that I filed a complaint against her with the Office of the Inspector General, and she was kept away from this building for almost a year. But now that she's being assigned over here against she's at it again. Now this time I've gotten my family involved. I had one of my brothers call Internal Affairs, O.I.G., and Ombudsman. See what happens?

Also I've been retaliated by the mailroom staff. For example, before I bought the book Murdered Innocents, I wrote the mailroom supervisor and asked her if the book was allowed to come in. She answered me back and told me yes, it was approved to come in. But now that I bought the book she's telling me that I can't have the book because it's denied. But the good thing is that I saved the I-60 form where she told that it was approved. So I've already filed my Step 1 grievance with that evidence. The thing is that the mailroom supervisor (Ms. Salles) denies the publications on the basis that they are personally offensive to her and not per TDCJ policy.

If you have any information that might be of help to me in regards to these issues, I appreciate very much if you could send it to me. Thank you!

I've heard a lot of prisoners say that they have filed sworn complaints with county District Attorney against TDCJ officers but never get a response back from the DA.

On this month of December there were some auditors here at the unit. I think that they were here for about two or three weeks. They were running chow real smooth. And one day one of the sgts was running chow and somebody asked him a question (I didn't hear exactly what they asked him) and Sgt. Said "Well, we have to show these people that yes, we do serve chow (hot meal) every meal." What does that tell you?

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[Abuse] [Wallace Unit] [Texas]
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Exposing Wallace Unit Abuses

I wanted to report some things that have gone on since Sept. 2018 I filed 4 grievances while housed on Wallace unit on the following: both cards 1/2 card AM shift refuse to turn us out to law library on time. Law library for G4 offenders is from 6:15-8:15AM daily except Tues/Thurs 6:30-8:30AM because general library runs 6:00-6:30AM Tues/Thurs. Ms. Reyna has been a helpful librarian allowing us ample time to check out a book and review periodicals at the law library. Mrs. Jones/Mrs. Wagner have been exceptional when I filed for copies of disciplinaries.

The grievance coordinator Ms. Merket hasn't been as helpful. I had sent I60s to her asking for grievance # from past dates and none come back. She did however tell me that if I was requesting documents that I must request through open records. About two weeks ago, Lt. Michael Tapscott on 2 card got upset that I filed a grievance because staff wasn't keeping withdrawals I60s, deposit slips, grievances securely there. Sgt. McQuirk was switched to 1 card PM shift. Michael Tapscott got his Lt. status back recently. Sgt. Tanner Mortensen on 2 card stated "grievances cause problems." COV Martinez/Lt. Corey Henry concurred the same thing! It is like they don't like being grieved.

Lt. Henry is our building Lt. Lt. Potter told me on 11/18/18 in front of Ms. Aguilar LVN "She doesn't need a long story" when addressing the pill window situation. On commissary day 11/18/18 between court time and 4:30PM, Sgt. Soto, Lt. Potter failed to call control J2 for pill window on E, F, and G wing. People in the day room were telling on Enriquez "Pill Window." Enriquez stated they haven't called for it. Lt. Corey Henry told me to talk to Lt. Potter that he wasn't aware that J2 G4s weren't at PM pill window. I filed the step 1 and they resolved it and started running G4s during count or when building count cleared. I talked to Ms. Hargrove LVN about the situation and she told me to breathe. Ms. Hargrove is the type of person that doesn't like me to initiate conversation. She just wants to get things done.

There is miscommunication on the unit severely on G4s. We are not afforded commissary weekly like G2s. They run OS every other week on $35.00 spend. The dates they ran us are follows: Oct 12, 24, Nov. 19. We go after J1. They don't have the holiday/hygiene pack in stock. We need to be able to go weekly. On my last unit Hightower, G4s went on Monday. Hightower is a small farm built like Wally Wallace. Lt. Henry would lock the wing if we were disorderly, etc. Major Bristow seems to participate in groupthink instead of being different from his Lt. The gang members disrespect the pigs. Mr. Alamonte sprayed an 18 year old Black man as he came out the cell for not obeying an order.

Laundry Sgt. Buske continues to screw comrades over on clothes giving them bigger sizes saying "I don't have mediums" (grievance # was filed last week)

They are mad that a comrade is exposing their deliberate indifference. Comrades are scared to file grievances.

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[Abuse] [McConnell Unit] [Texas]
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Disputes and Grievances Ignored in Texas

I am writing you at this time to submit my first article and to request books for myself that I will also share with others. I'm sure the Texas prison system is different then other states prison systems, one being a credit dispute resolution, where prisoners (offenders as we are now called) can dispute their begin sentence date, time earning class, and custody. But then the reply is "we can not change this without a court order." I challenged my begin date that was calculated by TDCJ who is cheating me out of four months. If the error is on their part why would I have to go back to court to force them to calculate my time properly? If they aren't going to help then why even have this department?

The disciplinary department is also similar where cases are judged based on "officers statement," because the officer states you committed an infraction, you are guilty. Even if you have evidence to the contrary. No actual evidence is investigated. Then prisoners must file a grievance which is also not properly investigated and the reply is usually a non-answer that has nothing to do with the problem. To receive proper + fair procedures, both disciplinary infractions and grievances should be handled by impartial persons outside the TOCJ system where these people are not related to, or friends of the very officers who are writing these cases or being investigated on grievances.

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[Abuse] [Dominguez State Jail] [Texas]
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Price Gouging in Commissary

I would also like to ask is it legal to price gouge on commissary. For instance a soup is like 5 or 6 for a dollar in the world but in county all they are charging us $1.00 a soup. Is this legal? The company that is selling us commissary is also the company that feeds us our 3 meals and they barely feed up and don't ever season nothing as well as cook as if they don't know how living us hungry with no choice but to pay ridiculous prices for commissary items. And they also sell us stuff that isn't to be resold. Like a box of crackers is supposed to be sold as a box not individually sold. They break down a box of crackers and sell them each sleeve for $1.50 that’s $6.00 a box of saltine crackers. Isn't this price gouging and monopolizing? They feed us like crap leaving us no choice but to pay ridiculous prices just cause were hungry. I’ll send you a copy of our commissary list so you can see for yourselves. I don't know I just don't think they should be charging 20 cents for a pack of sugar that you get for free when you buy a cup of coffee at a convenience store or 69 cents for a chico stick please help me understand this.

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