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 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.

[Campaigns] [Bill Clements Unit] [Texas]

Conditions at Clements

I am reaching out to you today because I would like to request a Texas Grievance Guide and any other material pertaining to fighting the Texas prison system. At this time, I believe I'm being harassed because I have been moved 6 times in 2 months — the last time moving for 24 hours to one cell and then moving me back to the same exact cell that I had previously been in. Do you have any material that covers situations of this nature? I would very much appreciate any assistance you could provide. Thank you and keep up the fight

[Abuse] [Ellis Unit] [Texas]

Lack of Training COs Creates Safety Risks at Ellis Unit

Things on the Ellis Unit are still at the total Cluster Fuck level thanks to the Administration which seems to do that which log-jams movement of Inmates and the flow of that movement necessary to a well-run unit.

It has come painfully to my attention that safety of Inmates is far from central to this administration's focus. There is a training academy for New Boots attached to this Unit where they are trained and then they are attached here in an OJT status. It used to be a standard that only a CO 5 would be allowed to conduct OJT training for these cadets. NOW, it only needs be a CO 3 to qualify as an OJT trainer.

On its face this seems acceptable, yet, when one ascertains that a graduating Cadet from the training academy is typically awarded the status of CO 3, it becomes clear that this is typical of Texas' treatment of its inmates, both physically as well as through the parole system. What may appear to be acceptable, or even positive developments is actually intentional watering-down of long-established policies—such as rehabilitation programs—meant to help inmates reintegrate society.

The point I'm leading to is that now the training of cadets has regressed to the point of the "blind training the ignorant" giving no notice of the liabilities that come with donning the prison officer's uniforms.

To further break this breach of the Mission Statement of the TDCJ Agency's Conventionalized System of Rules & Policies: these ignorant trainees [OJTs] are being shown hands-on training on this red-brick prison by a newly graduated CO 3, blind to most of the safety necessities. As an example: concerning the door-rolls; these blind CO 3s are showing the ignorant OJTs that it is permissible to stand at the picket—110 FEET from the furthest cell door—and bellow down the run to "stand clear" in notice that the doors are opening. A majority of these OJTs' voices cannot carry the required 110 feet to the last cell door to give adequately safe notification leaving many of the cell occupants ignorant of the imminent hazard. The doors are, more times than not, slammed open against their stops. I n m a t e B e w a r e!!! The same process in performed when it is time to close (slam) the doors.

Contrast this to the tacitly understood Unit Policy of the Floor boss walking the run and giving civil notifications akin to "Prepare for door-rolling" as (s)he scrutinizes each door's safety; once at the end of the run, this CO is to call back to the Picket Officer to open the doors; this Picket Officer then "parrots" this order; hence, all Inmates are duly notified and safety is honored.

I have made issue of this deliberately indifferent disregard and watering-down of the Conventionalized System of Rules & Policies because the tip of my left thumb was **ripped off**, along with the nail, because no notice was duly issued and the doors were closed silently... until the inveterate SLAM!!! I had to wait for the door to re-open to retrieve the 1/2 inch of my thumb-tip.

Obviously, I am not impressed with this trend toward the disregard of Inmate safety. I must repeat here, that which I continue to proclaim to those around me, "We MUST start pulling together and submit grievances en masse on issues akin to this one in order for the Agency to take notice and correct these back-sliding measures and tactics implemented at the unit level which are ever so slowly but surely watering down the duties and attachability of liabilities required in keeping COs within compliance with the Conventionalized System of Rules and Policies.

Ever since the Feds relinquished control over the TDCJ Agency to Texas Gov't, Texas has slowly removed every safety program bit-by-bit while touting how well they are doing in keeping prisoners in prison—huh!—protecting the state's population from the dangerous elements which they have trapped in an environment that is not-to-be-published to the citizenry of Texas. Why this? Because, with all of the successful rehabilitation programs removed, the primary thing TDCJ is producing is hate-filled animals who will negatively express themselves once confronted with the free world. This is in direct contradiction with the Mission Statement(s) of both the TDCJ Agency and the ID units themselves.

After all, the TDCJ Agency is a traded stock on the U.$. Stock Exchange in New York. Just think of what the stock holders will do if/when an "Agency-wide Sit-Down" happens? How quickly will Slave/Inmate demands be met? Texas Inmates hold more power than most of them realize...

[Medical Care] [Powledge Unit] [Texas]

Fighting Inadequate Medical Care in Harris County

Harris County has killed 6 diabetic prisoners in the last 3 years due to denial of adequate medical care and this must be stopped.

I am recruiting others who are active in civil rights litigation and I am currently working to organize prisoners with hepatitis C who the prison has refused to treat. The Edwards Law Firm in Austin believes this should be of public concern and needs to be litigated as a class action lawsuit against TDCJ/UTMB Correctional Managed Care to get prisoners treated to prevent the further spread of hep. C within the prison system and to the public from improperly treated inmates upon release.

To effectively move toward this goal we are assisting prisoners with hep. C in filing grievances for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs through denial of treatment. After exhausting their administrative remedy (step 1 & 2 grievances) a letter is drafted to "Edwards Law" requesting representation and requesting to become a class member or representative in the proposed litigation.

This litigation could bring about change in the TDCJ/UTMB Correctional Managed Care system (CMC).

We are also organizing prisoners in coordination with Edwards Law to do a class-action lawsuit against TDCJ/UTMB CMC for denial of dentures and partial dentures. An issue raised against Harris County in Baughman v. Garcia, 254F.Supp.3d 848 (S.D.Tex.2017) which resulted in a settlement on the dental portion of the care and the issuance of partial dentures to the plaintiff.

The issue of TDCJ/UTMB CMC was raised in three Houston Chronicle articles which brought forth the need for the class-action lawsuit and the attention of Edwards Law. See: Houston Chronicle "Policy That Bites", September 26, 2018"; "Prisons to Hire Denture Specialist" October 6, 2018; "Toothless Texas Inmates Denied Dentures in State Prison" September 23, 20187 at

Despite what the articles say TDCJ/UTMB CMC has not changed their policies regarding dentures and Edwards Law agrees it is going to take a class-action lawsuit to achieve this.

I have a First Amendment Rights lawsuit going against Harris County: Baughman v. Harris County, case no. 4i18-CV-960 in the United $nakes District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The case deals with unconstitutional mail-room policies and Freedom of Speech; as well as Due Process under the Fourteenth Amendment where proper notice is required and right to appeal adverse decisions to reject incoming or outgoing correspondence and publications.

[Abuse] [Hughes Unit] [Texas]

Dirty Games with Grievances in Hughes Unit

I am having problems with the grievance system here at the Alfred Hughes Unit as well as the Law Library. Another problem is that I am (G-5) Closed Custody and confined to my cell 24/7. There really is no difference from Closed Custody & Administrative Segregation here at the Hughes Unit. The only difference is that with Closed Custody you have a cellie to which they then came to call it General Population. But either way you're confined 24/7.

OK so because I'm confined to my cellie I have to write I-60 request forms to the Law Library to be allowed to receive research materials. These laws do what they want by only sending out 10% of my requests. The rest of my I-60s they merely ignore and never send. The grievance department received my grievance but lies by saying it was received late. So I put another Step 1 Grievance to the original. Now they returned that one not even filled out, with no signature, no date received, no date returned, no boxes checked, no next step, or resolution process to follow. I mean nothing, empty.

They are playing dirty games with denial to access to the Law Library and lying about my grievances and what actually happened. The first grievance I had a Sgt. Turner actually take it to the Grievance Department because they didn't even come to our pod to pick up our Step 1s. So I have a witness that it did get taken to them on time. The second Step 1 Grievance I actually had Officer Nash take it from my hand and place it into the Grievance Investigator's hand in front of me, so he is also a witness to the fact.

I don't know if you recall, but I sent you a money order and in return you mailed me 2 packets of materials to help fight my grievances. Thank you by the way. I wrote some bad ass grievances, but now they don't want them to go through. Do you happen to have a grievance I can use for denial of access to the courts/Law Library and how do I write up the Grievance Department when the rules state I can't grieve the Grievance System? I will donate some more money to your organization for some more help and materials that will put a stop to these a$$hole$. This is Illegal but I can't do anything from my confined cell. I only have my pen and paper to protect myself. OK, so I have a typewriter also.

I need your help please. I don't have people in the world besides organizations like yours. Now the building states they are short staffed now for the next 1 1/2 months and won't be allowing recreation, few showers, etc. For the last 2 weeks the entire building states they are out of I-60s, Step 1s, Step 2s. They say to just write it on regular piece of paper but we just came off lock-down and restriction: we don't have any of these materials to keep wasting on something that we can't win. I had to buy a few supplies from the SSIs. Now I can finally make store tomorrow, I hope! What the hell do I do? I sent back that form you mailed me that asked if I received your materials that you had been sending.

Will you please help us fight these people? They are fighting dirty and we are confined to our cells. Like I said I will make more donations to you for more materials or something. What do you think? I have spoken to lots of Officers, several Sgts all with no help to my issue of denial. Now I am waiting on Lt Summers to come and speak to me. I really doubt he will even come. I have written to both Majors, and two Wardens with no replies in two weeks. These people don't play fair at all. I feel fucked by not being able to do anything to protect myself and others. I write for other Inmates as well but I feel like a failure for not being able to make ends meet... I will await your response as I don't know what to do next.

[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]

Spoiled Food at Michael Unit

Just recently on my unit we had an outbreak of spoiled chicken. The unit got quarantined until the lab results came back. A lot of people got sick, they shut the kitchen down and gave us Johnnies (sack lunches) for a week and a half straight. During that time we ran into the same problem: spoiled beef links in the Johnnies. Everyone then wanted to speak. It took them six more hours to feed us but they gave us two peanut butter sandwiches. Come on! where they do that at?!

Then the next day they pacified us by giving the unit four movies for showing throughout the unit and good sack lunches (Johnnies) but the sad part is that everything that happened prior to that went for nothing. The kitchen is nasty as hell: roaches and all that. Every time the ACA comes is the only major clean up, painting and roach bombing and still no one cares to do nothing about it. They are too busy chasing a high from K-Z or being in someone else's business instead of investigating these folks for the torture they inflict upon us.

Bringing people together is hard here but with the commitment I am standing on, when they knock me down I will get back up. So please understand I am committed to this struggle and ready to organize and put in the work. Take out the old and bring in the new.

Thank you for your time. Please get back with me on the requested items. I am planning on building a treasury to help with future material but it's hard now. It will only get worse if we don't stand up. I also plan on writing an article on Growth.

Once again Thank you for all MIM stands for. It helps us unite.

[Abuse] [Texas]

Racist Parole Denials in Texas

I'm expressing my sincere appreciation and give a strong embrace of respect that extends beyond these prison walls to all at MIM. I'm hearing more and more of the unselfish work you do, the usable informational packages, and the very powerful newsletters. I'm now witnessing the sleeping giants, the brilliant minds and the warriors awaken. They are compelled to seek answers, information, and changes for the betterment of their current situation.

In my previous correspondence, I mentioned the importance of release programs for Texas ex-prisoners and I now see the discrimination against people of color getting favorable vote by the biased parole board members. These board members have full range of discretion to release whom they please no matter how violent their crime. The right-wing legislators seem to be in favor with early release for white child molesters, meth heads/dealers and those who hire a parole attorney. But us rehabilitated, self-determined, independent thinking, politically conscious black or brown men are denied parole over and over no matter how perfect our prison records may be. I have completed 8 years on a 10 year sentence, with no prison rule violations for 4 years, but I continue to be denied, year after year. We are seeking all legal knowledge on how to attack this parole system. It reeks of racism and bigotry!

[Abuse] [Hughes Unit] [Texas]

Campaign Materials Received but Confiscated

I wanted to thank you for sending the items that I had requested per my last letter to you [the TDCJ Offender Grievance Manual, Texas Campaign Pack, Sworn Complaint Form, PD-22 Codes]. FYI we just went through our lockdown. The Officers came to shake down my cell and took all your magazines you sent to me. I had been using all your information to write grievances and letters. I guess I must of done some good for them to take it all.

[Abuse] [Dalhart Unit] [Texas]

Punished for Accidental Fall in Texas

On 7/5/19, I received notice for a 4/28/19 accident in the recreation yard: an accidental trip and fall while jogging across a sidewalk with washed-out edges. The accident report was changed from jogging to playing to running to fit a non-accident and is cover for the hazardous edges next to the sidewalk. I was found guilty of committing an unsafe act instead of engaging in an allowed recreational activity: jogging. 30 days loss of contact visits.

I wrote a grievance letter describing the inaccurate offense report. The grievance returned the same day, stating the matter to be not grievable.

I have learned a lot about the systems, be it criminal Justice or Parole and Under Lock & Key is overflowing with information and resources. I loan out my issues, but I make sure to study them myself.

[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]

Sadistic and Disrespectful Guards at Ferguson Texas

Guards are sadistic & disrespectful to you. They beat you up & write bogus cases on you like threatening staff & staff assault. They do not file paperwork & investigations accurately & truthfully. Food is cold & they serve you half scoops of main/sides & lots of times it's watery. No seasoning or salt/pepper. We are not given clean towels, boxers, socks everyday when we shower. Most cells do no have lights installed! Guards do not like to do their job & don't pass out enough cold water & there is excessive heat. We are not given cleaning supplies for our cells or indigent hygiene items.

[Abuse] [Lane Murray Unit] [Texas]

Charged with Gambling for using Mexican Stationary

This letter is to inform you of an urgent abusive matter happening to me here on Lane Murray Unit (a Texas Woman's Prison). I am being targeted and harassed by rank and C.O.s (mainly Sargent Transue) for exercising my vested right of using the Grievance System. The latest thing they are fraudulently charging me with is the allegation that I had in my possession "gambling paraphernalia", which was actually a stationary that my family & friends wrote me mail on. It is a "Loteria" stationary—and automatically it was assumed to be Mexican gambling paraphernalia. I asked Sargent Transue to take pictures of the writing of the letters/stationary and she refused, she only took pictures of what she claimed to be the "gambling paraphernalia"—very corrupt behavior on her part. There were two witnesses to this event, also C.O.s.

19 of my Prisoner Legal News and Criminal News were also taken from me in all that abusive search done against me.