Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Texas Prisons

Got legal skills? Help out with writing letters to appeal censorship of MIM Distributors by prison staff. 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.

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[Censorship] [Digital Mail] [Legal] [Texas]
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Updated Info on TX Lawsuit re: Digitalized Mail

Dear UL&K Editor & Staff,

When i originally wrote to you regarding my lawsuit on the digitalized mail, i had NOT yet been assigned a case no. i have one now:

Case No. 2:23-CV-00269
James Logan Diez v. TDCJ-CID
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
Corpus Christi Division

Address of Court:
Clerk @ 1133 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Plaintiff’s Address (for Attorneys, Legal Aid, or Organizations)
James Logan Diez
2399291 McConnell Unit
3001 S. Emily Dr.
Beeville, TX 78102
  • Prisoners are NOT allowed to correspond with Plaintiff. ALL other INDIVIDUALS may write to Plaintiff using the name, #, and Unit, with:
P.O. Box 660400
Dallas, TX 75266-0400

WARNING Any fellow Texas Prisoner who wants to seek to join this suit as a Defendant WILL be required by the Court to pay applicable fees and court costs – so, don’t put your foot in the pond if you aren’t prepared to swim.

Again – as the Plaintiff – i am extending an open invitation to any Attorneys, Investigators, Paralegals, Researchers, Legal Aid Groups, or Sponsors who would like to offer assistance with this litigation.

  • ALL pleadings filed to date should be available for viewing/downloading on the Court’s public website.

With appreciation for ANY assistance extended into my hand – have a great day and Blessed be.

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[Abuse] [Deaths in Custody] [Drugs] [Prison Food] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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Coffield Unit: Drugs, Murder and Mail Delays Here Too

Dear Friends,

Howdy from Texas! I have just read the Winter 2024 issue of Under Lock & Key provided to me by a friend. I’d like to be added to your mailing list.

Several articles caught my eye, most especially those focused on conditions within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). One Texas prisoner wrote the bulk of your article on the ULK 83 Correction regarding drugs, murder, and the statewide lockdown imposed by TDCJ. His statements were quite accurate. At the H. H. Coffield unit, we also saw prisoner-on-prisoner murder. Two of them were very close to my housing. We were locked down in totality for 40 days in our 5x9 cells and fed a starvation diet of sack meals.

The TDCJ Digital Mail initiative article was quite good as well. My own postal mail has been averaging 3 months for receipt since the implementation of the program. Even our Securus e-mail at my unit has been taking up to 3 or 4 weeks to be received – both incoming and outgoing.

But at least we are now drug-free, right? Not hardly! Those who choose to use have seen no shortage of supply. Personally I believe the only way to supply that volume of drugs to this 4000 man unit is via the officer and staff.

The K-2 epidemic is alive and well in Texas as well as Nevada and inmates are choosing to be brain-dead as their primary coping mechanism. Inmates under the influence are generally ignored by officers and officials and the issue is very divisive among the prison population. After all, no one in their right mind wants a cellie or a neighbor who is a strung-out deadbeat who would rob their mama to get another stick.

Anyway, I could go on for days about TDCJ incompetency, prison conditions, housing, food, etc. but I’ve said enough for now. I’ll be looking forward to receiving your publication.

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[Prison Labor] [Tennessee] [Florida] [Texas] [ULK Issue 84]
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Tennessee Bans Slavery - So What?

This year Tennessee banned all forms of slavery in the state. Now I’m trying to find out how to fight to get fair wages for work. If you can send info on how to fight that, that would be great.


A Florida Prisoner writes: Do you guys know the steps California prisoners took to gain their liberation from being treated as slaves under the 13th Amendment of the Constitution? I need to know the steps they took because I would like to initiate these same steps in the Florida prison system to see if we can also gain our liberation under the 13th.


A Texas Prisoner writes: This is a plea for us to come together in a prolonged effort to get the Texas Legislature to end slavery in Texas by removing the exception clause from the Texas Constitution. This is what we’re asking each and every one of you to do: From now until the Texas Legislature convenes, write to your state Representatives and Senators and ask them to convene a special session or whatever it takes to remove this clause. You should also write to Sunset Advisory Commission PO Box 13066 Austin, TX 78711.


Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: In the November 2022 elections the vast majority of Tennessee voters voted to amend their state constitution to read:

“Slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an inmate from working when the inmate has been duly convicted of a crime.”

We print the first two comrades’ questions for others to answer. We’ve been asking for years what the point of these campaigns to amend the Constitution is? How does this get us closer to liberation, not to mention just benefiting prisoners in the short-term? An attempt to search for increases in prisoner wages in Tennessee just brings up articles on massive increases in C.O. pay (prior to the above amendment).

As for California, the Constitution still says slavery is okay for the convicted felon. So there’s been no “liberation” in that regard. California prisoners are required to work or engage in other programs deemed rehabilitative by the state. While California legislators have cited cost concerns for not supporting amending the Constitution, it is not clear that states that have changed their constitutions in this regard have had financial impacts (especially by requirements to pay prisoners higher wages).

If our readers have information to the contrary or examples of these campaigns leading to anything, please write up an article for ULK. But we know from a historical materialist understanding that slavery has only been ended through class struggle, not by voting or writing your Senator.

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[Digital Mail] [Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 84]
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Challenging Constitutionality of Digital Mail, and related reports from Texas

On 20 October 2023 I filed a complaint challenging the constitutionality of the Texas Prison Administration’s contracting with a private sector, for-profit company in Dallas, Texas to digitalize all TDCJ-CID prisoner’s incoming personal/general correspondence and photographs for posting to the SecurusTech tablets issued to us in May 2023. I paid the full filing fee as well as the administrative and service fees.

I submit this information and the following to ULK for the following reasons:

  1. To seek unity across state and federal prison systems currently under digitalized mail policies.

  2. To provide fellow prisoners in all prison facilities with details on my challenge to digitalized mail so that we can coordinate a nationwide attack, and perhaps get an inter-state class action lawsuit that will be moved to the u.$. Supreme Court.

  3. To hopefully secure a Pro Bono assistance of attorney to ensure all the bases are covered.

While I was able to cover the initial $500 cost to file the complaint by sacrificing renewal of several magazine subscriptions and commissary “luxuries”, I do not have the financial ability to hire counsel or investigative resources, nor any further admin fees so I am going to need help.

The complaint’s Constitutional challenge relies on numerous First and Fourteenth Amendment issues of freedom of speech and due process, to wit:

1. Exaggerated Response:

TDCJ-CID administration claims the ban on physical mail is to stop the drugs/contraband that come through USPS mail. However, physical mail may account for less than 1% of incoming drug contraband, and such drug-laced articles of mail can be easily detected, isolated, and removed using the K-9 drug detection units that are maintained on every TDCJ-CID unit. Everyone, including the prison administration, knows that almost 100% of the drugs and contraband that enters prison facilities gets in through one of only three ways:

A. Corrupt admin/security employees.

B. Outside trustees picking up “drop” packets outside the security fence and bringing or passing them to inside trustees.

C. Private sector deliveries to the prison (kitchen and office supplies, or vendors for guards’ food orders and commissary supplies) having “special” cartons containing hidden contraband.

Yet, the prison administration takes almost no measures to check these primary sources for drugs/contraband.

2. “Chilling” and/or blocking legitimate freedom of speech and expression:

As a published op-ed columnist and essayist whose work has appeared in two syndicated newspapers, and on several internet sites that are operated by 501.3-c organizations, my readers range from Junior High students to nursing home residents, Democrats, Republicans, members of every other political party, housewives, secretaries, police officers and bartenders.

Often my readers want to write me but the venues I am published in rarely publish contact info, so readers google me to find out I am confined at a certain prison facility then google the facility to determine its address then send their letters to me there.

Prior to the digital mail policy, I received their letters (about 8-12 per week). After the policy, I have received NONE. The unit mailroom return to sender all “personal/general” mail that comes for a prisoner without explanation. Hence, this blocks my readers’ letters to me and “chills” their desire to communicate (they probably think I refused their letters). Students and the elderly who write me often don’t know to go to the prison website to check correspondence rules.

3. Denial of due process prior to restriction of mail:

I am a Naturist. I don’t use drugs, nor have I ever had anything to do with drugs. I have never been accused of, charged with, nor found guilty on any drug-related behavior in any administrative or criminal hearing, and have never been accused of or found guilty of smuggling/attempting to smuggle or posses “contraband.” That is, yet.

Without any form of due process I have been denied my lawful privilege and right to receive property sent to me (i.e. the physical letters and photos).

Physical letters and photographs have a sentimental “keepsake” value beyond any monetary valuation.

The u.$. Supreme and lower courts have held uniformly that copies/digital images of a document/photograph are not the same as the original. Ergo, sending me or any prisoner digital copies of their letters and photos (or even copies) is not giving them the property their letters/photos constitute.

The u.$. Constitution requires a due process seizure hearing before government can seize a citizen’s persynal property, whether that property is land, a vehicle, or an article of mail having value to the citizen.

Note: If the government, at such a hearing, can produce legitimate evidence that I have attempted to smuggle contraband/drugs through the USPS mail into the prison, then and only then would it be legally justified in enforcing a “digital mail only” rule upon me.

4. The digital mail “blanket” policy is overly broad:

The number of prisoners who attempt to smuggle drugs/contraband through the USPS mail is minuscule. 99% of prisoners would never even consider such a foolish act. Even prisoners who use and traffic drugs and other contraband generally don’t use the mail because (a) the volume of drugs that can fit in a letter doesn’t justify the risk and (b) it’s much easier to get large amounts of drugs brought in by one of the other venues.

All the digital mail policy does is punish hundreds of thousands of prisoners who don’t smuggle drugs or contraband in the first place. It’s analogous with fining the entire town’s citizens for excessive noise because there’s one “pothead rocker” playing eir stereo too loud.

Most prisoners use the USPS mail in a legal, rule abiding manner and never try to smuggle through the mail. First and Fourteenth Amendment rights are fundamental, and mail digitalizing policies abrogate those rights in an overly broad and exaggerated response to a security issue that would be more easily (and economically) dealt with in a less intrusive manner.

These four points (and their consequential points) are the primary basis of my complaint.

Do prison authorities have a legal right to impose and enforce mail digitalizing for security reasons? Yes. But only in a reasonable manner necessary to address the specific security problem without punishing prisoners who are not a party to the problem. Officials can not punish innocent prisoners nor strip them of constitutional rights merely because a tiny fraction of the prison population is causing a problem.

So if anyone wants to get on board to help get this issue litigated properly, get in touch with me ASAP. Today is 18 November 2023, don’t delay.


A comrade at Bridgeport Unit reports: I would like to inform you of a change in the Law Library Holding list as of November 2023 the Law Library has taken the PD-22 Rules of Conduct out of the Law Library. It seems as if any ammunition we can use to fight with they want to destroy it somehow. The other problem is this digital mail is taking forever to get to one’s tablet. I have received numerous letters that are 2.5 to 3 months old. This has become a problem for many. I did receive newsletter #83 in the month of November 2023.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We have reported on the history of censorship of TDCJ’s own documents in previous issues. While we had encouraged comrades inside to challenge this legally, one comrade has informed us that ey believes this to be a faulty strategy. We are not lawyers, so we provide these ideas for consideration:

TDCJ has the discretion to withhold, or delay, any administrative documents they may or may not deem to be challengeable in public information act. There is a logical reason behind certain “administrative documents” not to be made available for Texas residents (i.e. friends and families, including incarcerated prisoners off of general population). I’m sure by now that these certain “administrative documents” are not censored. For items or certain materials that are being withheld – whether it be a policy, procedure, regulation, or rule – it is a fact that a governmental department is not obligated to disclose public information. Governmental departments are obligated to disclose public information at the requestor for inspection and review. See Tex. Gov’t Code, Sec. 552.221 through Sec. 552.235. They are not censoring. They are REMOVING it. Trickery word.

Filing lawsuits in federal court pertaining to the items or materials being complained under the claim of censorship is supporting and encouraging those administrative suits in being DISMISSED (or dismissed with prejudice). Giving away $350-$400 for free without meaningful merit to be heard or read…

Please refer incarcerated people in Texas to search out an author by the name of Raymond E. Lumsden on numerous books: The Pro Se Section 1983 Manual; The Habeas Corpus Manual; Ask, Believe, Receive; The Pro Se Guide to Legal Research & Writing, etc. These books are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and FreebirdPublishers.com.


A comrade in Allred Unit reported: Just today I received your mail confirmation letter via my tablet. The letter is dated 14 September 2023, so it is taking over 2 months to get our mail and we cannot print it out. TDCJ rules on Digital Mail say that if a document requires an inmate’s signature it is supposed to be sent to the unit’s Law Library. I doubt that they will give it to us if it is not legal work though. They would not allow applications from transition houses in until recently “Forgiven Felons” got permission to send theirs in.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The digital mail is making it harder for us to even track censorship by not allowing prisoners to fill out and return forms, not to mention blocking opportunities for support upon release!, or receive notices from the institution as described below.


A comrade at Ferguson Unit reported: When you sent the ULK 82 & 83 bulk mailings they initially denied them entry, without giving me notice. They don’t even send such institutional forms like that via regular mail, it went electronic and i don’t have a tablet since September so i didn’t even know until early December when i finally got them to budge and print out the electronic mail. This mail shit is absolutely showcasing the inadequacy of these state actors and the exploitative corporations (Securus/JPay).


Warriors in White, a non-profit org supporting restorative justice wrote: Our newsletter was blanket-banned across the entire TDCJ system due to a change in mail policy, which required all mail to be sent to a central mail processing facility. This new policy was approved on 23 June 2023 but not updated in unit law libraries until 4 August 2023. No reason has been provided. At the end of October 2023, we received clearance and approval to again distribute the newsletter. But again, no reason for denial, and no notification for denials and newsletters returned has ever been provided.

Secondly, all TDCJ residents now rely on Securus tablets to receive mail. As of the end of October 2023, most are still receiving mail postmarked throughout August into the first week of September 2023. TDCJ policy clearly states all mail is to be processed within 72 hours (3 days), through the mail processing facility.

According to the TDCJ Mail System Coordinator, there is a staff shortage at the facility. Additionally, MSC has claimed they were unprepared for the amount of mail received at the new facility. This is quite hard to believe, when the TDCJ, in decades past, has logged every single piece of mail through its system both on computer and in paper log books.

According to the TDCJ Ombudsman, all mail is being processed within the 3 day limit and there are no staff shortages at the mail processing facility. According to Securus, they are unaware of any mail processing problems, and that “all mail is processed within 5 days unless it includes photos or pictures, in which case it may take a little longer.”

Further, the TDCJ is clamping down on peer-to-peer legal assistance. If you have a Securus tablet which receives programming from the Freedom Radio Legal Show on 106.5 The Tank, that info has been banned from the tablet due to overwhelming listener response. While gratefully received, TDCJ will no longer accept requests, etc. addressed to the legal show, one of a long list of new restrictions. So if you sent a newsletter request to Freedom Radio for a Warriors In White newsletter subscription, the Polunsky Unit mailroom has been destroying all requests since the beginning of June 2023 to the present. If you know someone who applied for the newsletter please resend your request to WIW-DOM PO Box 301, Huntsville, TX 77342. Please do not send legal questions to the PO Box as we are not ready for those yet.

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[Prison Food] [Abuse] [Control Units] [Police Brutality] [Political Repression] [Bill Clements Unit] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 84]
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How the Prison War Looks in Texas Ad-Segs

“[A]ll over the world now the institution of the prison serves as a place to warehouse people who represent major social problems.” - Angela Y. Davis

Looking at the incarcerated world around us, it is no wonder the numbers of New Afrikan and other darker hued people who are captive is so high. It is no wonder why the level of illiteracy is most highly concentrated among the incarcerated. It is no wonder the level of schooling is low among the captive population. It is no wonder why there is more money invested in mental health services behind bars than in free world facilities.(1)

All this means that when we imagine our resistance against prison systems we must see prison as being more than just the place where people who commit crimes are sent. We have to begin to analyze the interconnected and multi-layered oppression within prison.

A key feature in warfare is physical violence. In prison, “official” physical violence is documented as use of force. The most use of force and most excessive use of force in Texas takes place at Bill Clements, specifically amongst its PAMIO program participants. PAMIO, for those who do not know, is a psychiatric program designed for those in Ad-Seg.

If you follow the logic, Texas residents with psychiatric illness are more likely to be held captive by the state, while in captivity they have a greater chance to be held in Administrative segregation (Ad-Seg). While in Ad-Seg their psychiatric state is likely to deteriorate and they are likely to face “official” physical violence at the hands of their captors at greater numbers than those without documented psychiatric history.

Conditions At Clements

Our situation at Bill Clements Unit Ad-Seg or ECB, Extended Cell Block they call it, has not improved. Although less deaths we are seeing a rise in starvation, torture, neglect, and unsupervised migrant workers running the prison as they see fit with little to no training. Regardless of what administration says. These Africans on this unit have not been taught day rules, standard operating procedures, and have zero regard for this so called rule book. And why shouldn’t they when there is no enforcement and or reprimand on the side of TDCJ.

During the last shakedown, a state-wide attempt to catch contraband, they had me in a cage outdoors for 2 hours while they tossed my cell. Guards and inmates watched me in handcuffs while Major Pacheo instructed Field Boss Shrader to steal all my electronics and commissary food items – over 200 dollars worth. All this I believe is because my toilet hasn’t worked for months and I keep requesting maintenance but it never comes. Same with the broken shower and the water leak resulting in a wet floor. I have receipts for all the electronics and commissary items they stole, and I listed all this and the witnesses on grievance – they put the witnesses on chain! Nobody goes on chain unless it’s to Montford Psych or hospital.

The second week of December we were allowed to shop commissary, the second time in 4 months. Breakfast chow consisted of two tablespoons of scrambled eggs with a quarter inch of grits and applesauce. In total it was 4 spoons of food. For lunch and dinner we had a cheese sandwich. They back-doored commissary with a shakedown and stole what we purchased.

I was allowed 1 hour out of my cell twice this year. The “weekly” library ran 9 times. Average time to see a mental health professional is 9-12 months. Delivered mail can sit in the mail room for over 6 months. They are understaffed and don’t have enough people to properly run the facility. Once they tried to put some beef on dough and call it pizza, it was not cooked and the meat was bad. Raw dough and spoiled meat. No shit. No exaggeration.

Not feeding us is not only to starve us but to keep us from relaxing. We are constantly fasting involuntarily. The hunger keeps us anxious and irritable, to put it mildly. In my pod of 60 I have seen 12 people lifted out on stretchers this year, nobody checking for a pulse or performing CPR. That’s 1 per month on average. This cell is worse than the third world POW camps I visited during my time in the USMC. The corruption is so bad with so many hands in the cookie jar that one cannot even get a judge to hear them out about violations. TDCJ just ignores our requests and cites their lack of staff as to why they have nobody to process the documents.

War in Ferguson

On November 16th all the interconnected elements of prison war worked together on the Ferguson unit as five officers, unprovoked and without cause, entered the cell of two men demanding they submit to a complete strip search and handcuffs. When one of the captives asked why, he was immediately hit in his face with closed fist by CIT Gates while SGT Vasquez grabbed the captive’s head and slammed it against the concrete wall, causing injury. The captive fell to the ground and was kicked, his head was banged against the floor repeatedly. Afterwards he was dragged to the run, outside of the cell, where he was continuously kicked in his face and was even stood on. The entire time other captives were yelling in protest for the guards to stop, but they refused. While on another row, but hearing what was happening, I began launching projectiles from my cell. Eventually this caused the guards to cease their beating. They escorted the beaten man away, then returned minutes later to handcuff and escort me.

I was housed in solitary two cells down from the victim. I had the opportunity to speak with him for the first time, find out first hand what took place. He also shared with me his history of intellectual disabilities, and mild history of psychiatric illness. He had been adopted at a young age and raised in the foster care system. Our time near each other came to a close after the pressures of solitary confinement pushed this brother to attempt suicide. Days later as a result of this incident I was notified by the Ferguson Unit Warden Wheat that I would be reassigned to Administrative Segregation, under trumped up charges of assault on staff with a weapon.

Attempts to appeal the reassignment to Ad-Seg have been hampered by Unit Grievance Officer D. Turner not allowing my appeal of classification to go through.

I have personally reported the unprovoked excessive assaults these same clique of guards have taken part in in the five months I’ve been on Ferguson. There is a culture of unmitigated brutality here and the slightest show of counter-force is excessively punished. Warden Wheat has been made aware of this clique of pigs constantly assaulting people without cause, he has ignored or punished reporters.

Prison is War. Prison is Violence. Administrative Segregation is the highest form of it, where prisoncrats are allowed to hide you and abuse you away from any and all scrutiny. A tool that is used to throw away resisters in the prison battlefield. End RHU!

Sources: (1) Angela Y. Davis, Freedom is a Constant Struggle, pp. 23-24.

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[Drugs] [Deaths in Custody] [Abuse] [Peace in Prisons] [McConnell Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 84]
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ULK 83 Correction: Murders Weren't About Drugs

Dear MIM-ULK Editor,

Your Fall 2023 edition, at page 11, published the article “Prisoners Punished for Drug Problems in Texas”. The article began:

“On 6 September 2023 the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) prison system mandated a statewide lockdown due to the number of deaths related to drugs: a total of 16.”

This “related to drugs” statement IS A LIE fabricated by prison administrators to cover up the TRUE basis for the 16 murders, and cast the blame and causes for the killings on solely the prisoners, with no accountability on the government. Drugs had little to nothing to do with the murders!

I am on the McConnell Unit – 5 of those 16 murders occurred here; the highest murder rate of any TDCJ-CID facility. There were, also, 3 sodomy sexual assaults. 5 murders and 3 rapes in one 12 month period. NONE of them drug related per se.

From reading the article and its various contributors’ focus; I am making an informed deduction that the fellow prisoners who contributed based their deductions solely on the TDCJ-CID “Public Information Office” press release propaganda alone, with no real knowledge of the truth. I dug deeper and actually investigated.

The FACTUAL causes of the murders was total absence of any meaningful Classification and Housing Policy/Practice to separate categories of personality types; coupled with the administration’s practice of imposing 24/7 lockdowns due to shortage of personnel; and, feeding high-carb, starchy meals that meet caloric amounts but are devoid of bio-necessary nutrients.

Of the 5 murders and 3 rapes over 12 months here at McConnell Unit, one murder was committed by a prisoner high on K-2 and one of the rapists was drunk on “hooch”. The other 4 murders were NON-drug-related – the killers and victims were incompatible personalities placed in an 8’x12’ closet-sized cell and, at the time of the murders, having to spend 24 hours a day in the cell together. Nerves got frayed, personalities clashed, someone died. All three rapes occurred under similar circumstances: cellmates who were under a prolonged in-cell period due to “Staff Shortage”; one a dominant predatory personality, the other a passive victim – the predator gave in to his nature, the victim got sodomized.

In EVERY murder and rape, it could have been avoided had TDCJ-CID enforced a legitimate and meaningful classification, Housing Policy and Practice that separated prisoners into housing with compatible personalities and dispositions. However, classification is almost universally based on:

  1. age range;
  2. physical size; and,
  3. disciplinary history.

While TDCJ-CID policy states various other factors for the classification as well, actual practice uses only the above 3. Cell assignments usually keep the occupants within a similar age and physical size, but the overall cellblocks will contain ranges in age from 18-98 and people ranging from 5’2”, 100 lb to 6’6”, 350 lb. We’ll get a 19-20 year old first offender with 10-12 disciplinary cases in prison for a few theft cases put in a cell with a hard-core Gangsta on his fifth trip to prison for domestic violence/armed assault.

Since state law does NOT allow for any kind of public oversight NOR citizens’ investigations of conditions and administrative practices in the prison facilities, TDCJ-CID can fabricate whatever tale it wants to explain the murders and rapes – hence, put the blame on drugs, gangs, etc. and deny itself any blame.

I realize ULK Editors MUST rely on prisoners’ reports to even know what circumstances are behind the walls. However, it’s prudent that you fact check what the prisoners say, because the vast majority of Texas prisoners actually take “Official Reports” as truth and never even question what they hear on the news!

CLUE: Anytime an Official Report points its finger solely at prisoners to assign blame, and/or gives excuses that open a door to imposing harsher or more restrictive “security” measures – the odds are the Official Report contains lies and is little more than “Perception Management” propaganda to deceive the public.

Courts will not pry into prison operations; they always defer to the “professional knowledge of prison authorities” and accept whatever fabricated “fact” the prison administration offers. When any public organization tries to monitor inside prison conditions, they are blocked. And, the prison administration always has “Brown Nose” prisoners willing to sing whatever song officials want in exchange for privileges.

Prisons are for the most part “black holes” where the light of truth is concerned – truth is sucked in and hidden while only the darkness of lies is visible.

TDCJ-CID has about as much transparency as the CIA – and, until Congress adopts a Law, or the people put in the state Constitution something that imposes citizen oversight (by independent organizations), TDCJ-CID will remain a near-opaque agency.

Thank you for the attention you’ve given to this reality of life in Texas prisons.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We thank this comrade for the additional information on the situation on the ground. We explain our perspective and our reliance on on-the-ground correspondents in every issue of ULK in a box titled ‘On “Objective” Reporting.’

The main point of the article being responded to was that the TDCJ was enforcing a statewide lockdown for a problem that they caused. We know there is massive drug addiction plaguing the imprisoned population in Texas and many other states right now. So in these regards we had the facts straight, and made it clear that it was the staff to blame.

That said we appreciate the additional information this comrade provides on the causes of the deaths and violence. We would not say that celling certain personalities together are at the heart of the violence. And we certainly wouldn’t blame predatory behavior on an individual’s “nature.” There are plenty of contexts in which different people can live together without killing each other. It is the particular oppressive and stressful conditions of U.$. prisons that lead to these tragedies and lost lives. As this comrade mentions, solitary confinement and poor food are serious stressors on the body, especially the brain. It is our experience that the drug economy is a big contributor to conflicts as well. This is not blaming the prisoners, this is blaming the state for promoting the current drug epidemic as a means to divide and pacify the oppressed.

The principal contradiction that defines the prison system is that between the captive and the captor. It is in the interests of the captor, who is the minority, to distract and divide the captives. This must come first, before things like ignoring celling protocols can become operative in a way that leads to deaths. A united prisoner population would not be manipulated by celling strategies.

That said, we agree that policies regarding who is celled with who can reduce these conflicts in our current situation. More importantly, we agree that some kind of outside oversight and pressure is necessary to change the ways of those who would be enforcing such policies. It is only through building true independent institutions that we can begin to apply such independent pressure in a way that serves the people by preventing these oppressive tactics.

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[Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 84]
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Resourceful Responses to Two Articles from ULK 83

Re: “Prisoner Put in Solitary for Organizing Political Education in Ohio”, by an Ohio Prisoner

Greetings comrade,

While I wish I could do more to help you combat the political repression you are experiencing within the Ohio gulags, I am sending MIM a leaflet in hopes that it may help you as a replacement for your “self help litigation manual” that you mention was (intentionally) lost. Comrades @ Midwest Books to Prisoners have formatted Columbia University’s “Jailhouse Lawyers Manual” (JLM) into zines (one chapter per pamphlet) and will send you 3-5 per request, for free. I hope these pamphlets will help you get around the pigs not allowing you to order books from the SHU.

|1321 N. Milwaukee Ave | PMB #460 | Chicago, IL 60622

Re: “Prisoners Punished for Drug Problem in Texas” by a Texas Prisoner

Though I will not pretend to know what goes on within the oppressive behemoth that is the TDCJ (being that I am going on 3 years here in a county jail in the Bay Area), I read recently after receiving ULK 83 a news snippet within the newest edition of the anti-authoritarian/anarchist website ItsGoingDown’s newsletter “IN Contempt #34” that might shed some light on the reasons behind the Sep. 6th lockdown for Texas’ gulags. I copy it verbatim:

The Texas-wide prison lockdown that began in September has now been lifted [this newsletter was posted Nov. 2nd 2023]. The lockdown was officially described as an effort to combat drugs, but some prisoners have questioned this and suggested it was actually an attempt to suppress prisoner unrest after a particularly brutal staff beating at Coffield Unit. From a Texas Tribune article:

“On Sept. 5 an inmate [sic] at the Coffield Unit stabbed a correctional officer [sic] in a high security unit. TDCJ officers [sic] responded to this incident with excessive force and prison system spokesperson Amanda Hernandez told The Texas Tribune established protocols were not followed. After an internal review of that incident, seven correctional officers [sic] were fired and another six officers [sic] resigned….”

I’m not 100% sure what the spokesperson for TDCJ meant by “established protocols were not followed”, but from the expansive reporting of Texas TEAMONE and others within TDCJ, we know that “excessive force” is standard operating procedure for Texas pigs.

MIM(Prisons) adds: We too distribute chapters of the PLM through our Serve the People Free Political Books to Prisoners Program. See page 2 for more info on how to to get books. Also see the other response regarding the Texas lockdown for more info on what was behind it.

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