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)

[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] [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] [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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[Legal] [Abuse] [Dominguez State Jail] [Texas]
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Law library access denied in Texas Jail

I hope this letter finds you in the best of health and highest of spirits. I am currently Incarcerated in the Bexar County Jail awaiting trial. I recently read a copy of ULK 64. I must say I loved it. I tip my hat to all the workers helping the movement of ULK.

I am currently fighting for my 1st & 8th Amendments Bill of Rights. First and foremost I am considered Protective Custody Special Gang Management. Administrative Segregation under 21 hour confinement with meals served in the cells. Only to be let out for about 3 hours to shower & shave. But most days we are lucky to get 1.5 hours. We are not allowed to participate in any Jail programs or to attend any religious services due to Bexar County Jail not having enough sheriffs to escort us.

I've been Incarcerated in BCADC 4 months. I been filing Grievances to Bexar County Jail Administrator but I haven't received any response to any of my grievances. I've filed about 10 Grievances. I was hoping you all could possibly help me in anyway? I am currently fighting my case but due to my classification status I'm also not allowed to attend the law library. I'm in somewhat of a rut. How can I properly fight for my freedom when I'm not even allowed to attend the law library. However I can fill out via Blue form requesting legal materials. But How do I know what it is I need if I can't physically attend to do research? Could you please send me legal law materials & books? I really really need A Blacks Law Dictionary. My law library says they cannot send me one OR allow me to use one. I must request them to define only 5 words at a time, then wait 10 days for them to provide a response & material. The system Here is very corrupt.

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[Censorship] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]
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Texas mail "lost" or delayed

Today I was denied the latest issue of ULK due to TDCJ BP.31, Reason C, page H5 advocates prison disruption/strike and it was a non-appealable item of course. Mrs. Thomas (Wayne Unit Mail Room Supervisor) informed me, when I inquired as to why so many people also weren't receiving their paid for magazine subscriptions, "Yes, I know, we aren't getting them here." And of course she doesn't know who could have held them up wither, "it must be the post office," which I know better. A lot of my mail is routed through zip code 77320-3144 office of TDCJ Director Bryan Collier and others, including the Inmate Trust Fund/Commissary Supervisor.

I have a lot of trouble receiving my Federal Credit Union statement that's sent out the 22nd of each month (PENFED in Alexandria, VA 22313) and I may it get 8 to 15 days later. My Truck Round Up Magazine, BUD K catalog, Popular Mechanics, and Reminisce of my eleven various subscriptions are most often to take the longest getting to me and sometimes not at all.

Mrs. Thomas swears TDCJ has nothing to do with it either. My mother and sister are retired postal employees and I know the post office is over 99% effective and reliable. TDCJ, on the other hand, isn't at all trustworthy! I've fought this issue over a decade now with absolutely no positive results and don't know what else to do or who to contact about it, the ARRM director says they don't answer prisoner questions/mail, if you have a problem, submit a grievance, which, of course, do not work for prisoners at all. Perhaps you have something that could help? Thank you, and I did immediately submit a step 1 grievance too.

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[Censorship] [Estelle 2] [Texas]
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Legal mail tossed in retaliation

Please send the PDR as I am nearly banned from our law library due to retaliation from two officers that now work in the law library. You should also be aware that all of my legal mail has to go through the law library for address verification. I am afraid that is as far as my legal mail makes it. I have no doubt it is being thrown away. I have two officers that I have filed step ones and twos on that now work in the law library. One of them, during a cell search, tore/ripped up some of my family photos. Any legal mail I have to get off the unit I have to send with an inmate going home on parole or discharge so this is another reason I need the PDR so I can use it for a proper grievance and quote the right misconduct. So I thank you for any assistance you may provide.

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[Censorship] [Luther Unit] [Texas]
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Texas mail denied for including stamps

Well Houston, we have a problem. I sent out a letter to you asking for the Texas Pack. I enclosed 1 SASE and 4 stamps. The mailroom denied the envelope with SASE and 4 stamps. Yet they wrote the denial form up stating denied 4 stamps and did not say anything about the self addressed stamped envelope. So I sent out another letter with (see denial form) 2 SASE, one with 6 stamps, one with one stamp. I wanted the Texas Package and the complaint form.

I have appealed both denial forms. The 1st denial form was in the 2 letters I sent to you. The first denial said I could not purchase anything with stamps. I explained I wasn't purchasing anything, just covered postage. So I request you'll also appeal this. The reason they don't allow stamps is because inmates have been using them to purchase "Kill Shot" magazines. I am also filing a grievance over this matter. There is nothing in Texas mailroom rules about stamps or SASE. Another violation of freedom of speech. There are others who require SASE like Merriam Webster Language Research Service. I don't see how that can stop SASE going out. So please appeal this also so that your name can be on approved list since you do not sell "Kill Shots."

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[Legal] [Abuse] [Smith County Jail] [Texas]
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Twilight Zone of Legal System

I am currently incarcerated in Smith County Texas. I have been here for over 4 months and it appears I will be here at least another 3 or 4 months just waiting to go to trial. They have me on a $250,000 for an alleged theft charge under 30k. I am no stranger to the legal system in Texas but this county has so far violated almost every right I have. I have had to fire my attorney who is apparently a contract attorney for the court and only does court appointed cases. That said I am attempting to wing this pro se but they have denied me everything needed to do so such as a law library, discovery, or anything else needed to mount a defense. I just filed a federal law suit against the judge, DA and the court appointed attorney or should I say I just tried. I am pretty sure they are all going to have absolute immunity. Anyway, all that said only time will tell.

I am a 44 year old white man. The last time I was in any serious legal trouble was in 1998 when I did 18 months in a federal system and about 6 months in state jail. I am sure a lot has changed in our legal system since then so I am not sure if this county is playing with peoples rights and lives or the system is just rigged and there is nothing anyone can do until after you have been convicted. I feel like I am in the twilight zone here.

Anyway a guy came in on a bench warrant and had a cop of Under Lock & Key. Very interesting to say the least. I would very much like to read more of them so if you could please send me your newsletter and any other info you have that may provide some insight into the alternate world I find myself in.

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[Organizing] [Allred Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 64]
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The Power to Make a Difference

July 2018 — Hey guys n gals. Well good and bad news.

First the good. I successfully organized my first demonstration, on Father's Day. We are in G-4 custody (20 hr lockdown - 2 hr dayroom and 2 hr rec). The staff always steals our rec with the excuse of "short of staff." So I gathered 6 other prisoners and stated that we would like to speak to Rank (i.e. Sergeant or Lieutenant). Soon all 48 prisoners were united. The officers did not know what to do. They called on the radio an ICS (inmate control squad) stating that we were refusing to rack up. Lo and behold, every officer on the unit arrived with bean bag guns, gas, Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, everybody. I guess they were NOT short of staff! LOL!

After that I approached the Captain very calmly and told him our grievances. The Warden showed up just in time to see. He said "tell them to rack up and we will see what the officer has to say." Seeing that the message had been delivered, I withdrew.

About 10 minutes later they came back and gave us rec.

Now the bad news. Since then the prisons are now targeting me and I am in Seg. SMH! It is okay. Because I see now that I do have the power to make a difference.

Thanks for the Texas Activist Pack, and thanks for the back issues. I also got ULK 62 yesterday and I will follow up soon. In Struggle!


MIM(Prisons) responds: The Texas Activist Pack was updated in August 2018, and you can get one by sending a donation of $3.50. It's a bit thicker now, so the cost to print and mail it has gone up since the last version. The Texas Pack has info about all the campaigns that United Struggle from Within comrades have developed for the state of Texas.

We also recently got our hands on the TDCJ Offender Grievace Operations Manual (rev 01/12). It is over 100 pages, so we are asking for a donation of $10 to cover the cost of printing and mailing it to you.

Let's pause to consider why aren't these materals already available to prisoners held by TDCJ? Why has the TDCJ been withholding the grievance manual from prisoners since at least November 2014? Who are the people held by TDCJ and how does it impact their lives and familes when they don't have access to this info?

Filing grievances and working on individual or reform campaigns do have their place. But, like with this comrade's successful efforts to get rec time, the greatest impact will come in the unity we build with our comrades, and the sense of our own power that we can tap into. Those are the successes that are going to stick with us for the long haul, and through various stages that our struggle goes through.

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