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)

Bexar County Jail (San Antonio)

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)

Huntsville (Huntsville)

Jester III Unit (Richmond)

John R Lindsey State Jail (Jacksboro)

Jordan Unit (Pampa)

Lane Murray Unit (Gatesville)

Larry Gist State Jail (Beaumont)

LeBlanc Unit (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)

Ramsey III Unit (Rosharon)

Robertson Unit (Abilene)

Rufus Duncan TF (Diboll)

Sanders Estes CCA (Venus)

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)

[Abuse] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]
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Assasination or Retaliation?

An I60 is a form used throughout Texas Prisons as a means of paper communication. On the Wynne Unit, and perhaps other units, an "Escape I60" is supposedly an I60 written by another inmate claiming that an inmate is planning to escape. The I60 is unsigned.

An "Escape I60" is used to "lock up" inmates in a segregation cell, a.k.a., PHD. An "investigation" is supposed to occur usually, a few inmates are called out in the middle of the night to sign statements that they have not heard of anyone looking to escape.

There are sometimes other reasons that are used to "lock up" an inmate.

On 5/9/18 I was called out and told an "Escape I60" was written on me. It stated that I was planning to escape and had stolen an officer's ID.

Questions:

  1. Wouldn't you immediately check to see if an officer's ID was missing?
  2. If not, wouldn't that indicate that the I60 was BOGUS?

The officers who took my statement as to how false this was, also asked if I possibly knew who wrote it. I said that I have a new cell mate but have no proof that he or any other inmate wrote it. Later I remembered that the officers also said the I60 stated I intended to harm Nurse Jackie Fisher.

On 4/3/18 when I incured a urinary tract obstruction and was taken to medical, I was refused medical care. It took almost 26 hours for the obstruction to clear at which time my urination was painful and had blood. The nurse who refused me was Jackie Fisher. The officer who took me to medical and told me that Jackie Fisher had refused medical care, was the same officer interviewing me.

COINCIDENCE?

I also realized that I had told NO inmate this. I had only conveyed this in letters and grievances. Something only officers/staff have access to. I recently filed 6 grievances.

Inmates say that only a few "Escape I60s" are written by other inmates. Most believe that a majority of "Escape I60s" are written by officers looking to lock inmates up—retaliation?

One inmate was locked up for almost 30 days because an I60 claimed he intended to assassinate Warden Strong. Warden Strong actually came to see this inmate.

If officers on the Wynne unit "truly" beleived that someone was planning to assassinate Warden Strong, why didn't they alert local law enforcement or the FBI?

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[Control Units] [Robertson Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 62]
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Solitary Confinement Ongoing in TX Despite Policy Changes

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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[Abuse] [Lychner Unit] [Texas]
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State Jail Violating Federal Laws

I will tell you about this prison conditions in this state jail because the prison system in Texas has created a state jail (to squeeze more money from the honest taxpayers). The state jail runs this place in all kinds of ways except the right way.

For example: one of the federal stipulations in the cases of Wolf vs McDonald (in California) and Ruiz vs Estelle (in TX). The federal courts passed a new rule that states when the prison system conducts a disciplinary court, they must have a tape recorder. This state jail does not have one tape recorder. Never has.

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[Abuse] [Ellis Unit] [Texas]
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Bad Water and Cussing Guards

Our water is bad. I'm writing you for help with a problem we have here on the Ellis Unit. I've written the Justice Department and they wrote baack, saying that that forward my complaint to EPA (environmental protection agency). Now those people haven't told me anything. How do i further my complaint? Also we have a problem with officers cussing out the inmates. Grievances don't work on this unit all grievances are answered the same way, the officers lie they way out of every situation. Please let me hear some feedback from you that can help me. These conditions are nearly impossible to live with and need addressing now!

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[Abuse] [Victoria County Jail] [Texas]
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Witnessing Abuse has a Domino Effect

7 May 2018 - At the present time, I remain to be still assigned to the Wynne Unit in Huntsville, where the following took place 29 July 2017 and and where continued general mistreatments are being concealed under Sr. Warden Kelly Strong's dehumanizing leadership. The events I am about to describe are completely true and have been documented by the grievance department here on unit - it's the most they are good for, and merely one element of many departments that are a part of the in-house investigation manipulation process.

The ordeal actually started before I even realized it myself. And please note, all dates mentioned here may not be actual dates. I had my date book mysteriously come up missing here recently after cell search.

On 13 July 2017 myself and others witnessed gang intel. Sgt. Marquez physically attack some unknown handcuffed inmate, and to be completely honest I had no intentions of grieving the matter. But, all that changed 2 days later on 15 July 2017.

I was stopped in the exact same hallway by the same Sgt. Marquez and directly threatened that she would "cause [me] harm" if I "got in her business" and that her "word is good." I knew she had seen me in the dayroom window for sure and I didn't say a word as she walked away and I contemplated my faith.

On 17 July 2017, unknown to other inmates, I seriously felt compelled to attempt to take action and so I wrote and submitted a I-127 Step 1 grievance detailing what I witnessed and the threatening verbal message directed at me by Sgt. Marquez. Now exactly 14 days later, after being confonted and threatened, I was physically attacked during 3rd shift in the same hallway by officers Steven Tamez and B. Thorshov around 2:30 am, returning from a very unusually late medical satefy meeting for maybe 50 or more inmates.

Sgt. Marquez wasn't around and it's sad that conspiracy is hard to prove. During the course of being assaulted, I attempted to defend myself which is still my constitutional right with minimal force. And I was no doubt in a situation of imminent danger of bodily injury.

I was wrestled to the ground once other officers arrived, and then placed in handcuffs. No sooner than the cuffs were secured while laying on the floor, officers S. Tamez and B. Thorshov hit me with radios, handcuffs, and the injuries were my left eye bursted open, wounds to the top of my head, right hand and shoulder. Then refused medical treatment a few hours and later seen by a male nurse who refused (ER) treatment, merely given bandages. July 31, 2017 I was merely taken to speak to a Dr. T. Hall who never got up to physically examine me, he did order order x-rays and I had some of the x-rays finally done August 25, 2017.

From the morning of July 29, 2017, I was placed in a cell on prehearing with no lights. I guess where other people couldn't see me and to limit my sight even more, I couldn't stand much light to my eye. For maybe a week and a 1/2 I didn't have any property of mine, but I managed to secure a I-60 requesting to be interviewed & given a lie detector test on August 3, 2017, never a response. I finally got a grievance form and submitted it August 7 and remember the grievance dropped on Sgt. Marquez, I got that returned the next day (8-8-17) and its response was "No substantial evidence could be found to support my claim of misconduct & and that no 3rd party can witness a incident, this office will consider this issue closed."

Everyone and anyone know that U.O.F. paperwork was done to cover her wrong. I never got a response to letters going to disabled sister and daughter that was mailed out Aug. 11 or 12, 2017 til around Sept. 1, 2017 and only after I went out by another name and number. My first grievance concerning matters, I informed administration that I feared further harassment, retaliation and that my life was in danger. Also that these prisons are employed by people who are blood relations, old school mates, friends of friends and sometimes intimately, and for these reasons I requested to be transferred to another unit to deter any direct or indirect transgressions towards my physical wellness or mental health. Yet, my direct pleas to my oppressors were no good.

On Sept. 7, 2017. I was released amd reassigned to med. custody and once 3rd. shift arrived, so did my attacker who refused to allow my cellmate and me out the cell for breakfast and refuse me a medical appointment, not just one night but 2 morning in a row. I wrote & submitted a grievance and there's cameras everywhere but the hallways. The administration continues to refuse to transfer, I have been given writeups for talking in hallway to other officer, locked-up for for not allowing another attacker to pat search me when another officer was available to conduct pat search, I seen officer Thorshov pointing me out to the same Sgt. Schmidt who wrote up for talking in hall to another officer.

During the manipulation of in house investigation, almost every officer who knows me by face were asking "why did I do it?" Word had been circulated I was the aggressor and they ran with it. And some officers are leery around me, a set up. There was a assoc. of state rep. Eric Johnson's called the unit on behalf and Warden Strong informed her and my sister that "I was a bad actor and deserved what I got." This was indirectly admitting these unlawful acts under color of state law. I never got a u.o.f. physical until Oct. 3, 2017 once someone called in here from Mr. Johnson's and they were to cover a bases and its still no u.o.f. statement from me that day or any other nowhere! Yes, I did have a number of witnesses to my to my being attacked as well as others here and the administration is keeping these attacks under wraps here.

On unit, most our grievances are not allowed go off unit as step 2's are suppose to. So our complaints are mostly never heard beyond the unit, generally officers do as they want and lie later. Disciplinary is a big joke cause the (DHO) will allow officers to change up they're written or/and verbal statements during the hearing and even the subcounsel who is to defend us at hearings advocate for the officers cause and never question our violated due process, everyone eats off the same plate.

I seriously feel that we prisoners in Texas and elsewhere should have outside independent oversight committees for a number of functions. In order to bring about real justice to a real injustice system there must be some real change! The people become aware that their tax dollars are being used to promote open but hidden oppression. The 70 & early 80's were killing grounds and its seriously not that way here on the Wynne Unit but, officials are presenting us in this light falsely by rationalizing to the general public & here most recently to the media a few weeks ago. Ms. Strong, put a extreme political twist to manipulate some of her subordinates, her superiors and the voters of Texas.

Recent hungre strike took place due to the general mistreatments under her leadership and the subhuman conditions. We were actually placed on lockdown status we (50 or more) witnessed another inmate being physically attacked by officers and some us were written bogus cases due to us seeing what happened and officials decided to use this opportunity to lock us down and discredit these statements that was turned in opposing their actions. Then we were further oppressed once the Warden (Strong) unleashed the G.I. Sgt. Marquez where was allowed take radio, hot pots or whatever and then a (one) bag of waste wrapped-up in a bag on the runway where someone who ware a sh— bag discarded it, medical don't pick them up, they started our 30 day lock down ever.

After Strong misled the media to thinking inmates were causing disruptions, attacking staff and throwing waste to justify her actions, she left 1/2 of us up off lockdown to cause more strife but no-one went that messy stuff. I guess I should save something for my next report. But I am personally keeping hope alive someone who can give assistance to getting my and others attackers arrested & charged and civil rights complaints against these in & direct position and cause of official oppression under political heat and costly fines. But I been searching for legal assistance high and low. I am not a lawyer nor a politician but, I am seriously finding out that its a lot easier to obtain some legal relief for people who are not Americans. People will send a person to prison when found guilty of mistreatment animal but, turn blind eye to us humans in these prisons. I love dogs and can't wait to me another one and those who are people mistreated all over the earth, I feel that pain in this U.S. prison.

We/me need legal help so would you please post this for help on your website or facebook page and allow our voice to be heard, please!

I ain't no bad actor as falsely promoted, I am/we are people who made mistakes as humans do and need someone or a few to open their hearts and understand we can't do this alone, we outside help. I guess I can be contacted direct here and remember the worse thing to do Nothing! IN closing, the Bro. who sent encouragement to me via "Under Lock & Key" I seriously thank you for your article "Successes Against Retaliation" Nov. 2017, I love man and I hope others here, there and everywhere got your vibes...Til next "ULK" keep on spreading the word that oppression under these conditions are unjust condition around the world- Peace!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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