Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Texas Prisons

Can you do layout? Help out by laying out pamphlets and study packs to mail to prisoners. 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.

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] [Ellis Unit] [Texas]
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Weight loss and false contraband cases in Texas

I work at the farm shop at Ellis Unit. I am indigent here and this trusty camp refuses to feed any more than it has to. I have lost 54 pounds in just a few short months. Everyone here refuses to stick as one. I even received a case for socks that a church gave me on Xmas. "Free world contraband." Wow!

I work 7 days a week 7 to 4. The drama from other fellow prisoners is like a nightmare. I tried to transfer to a different camp because of all the drama. It's calmed down some in the last two months but still the officers treat us bad.

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[Censorship] [Abuse] [Stiles Unit] [Texas]
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Mail harrassment and censorship after reporting PREA failure

Here is a story of my seemingly solo fight. So, that said, I can describe that these bastards are out to kill me and no, I am not nutzo. No. There are “things” I am still very savvy to, that would get me killed. I’ve yet to disclose. The Stoke lied about what and why I did what I did.

Decades later the “Stoke” or federal officials came up with “PREA” (Prison Rape Elimination Act). To check it out, I, along with another, cried out. Lt. XX chewed me out. He screamed how easily he could place me in a certain sector of the Stiles Unit. What is this "certain sector"? A section where men can't stop raping and masturbating, (killing as it is called), would be where they or he would place me. Therefore, "PREA" turns a person into shark bait and tossed into a shark tank. I may have misunderstood what "elimination" meant.

Well I wrote to several state and federal officials of the above event. Plus, I let them know how PREA is now a major joke that is shouted among both the officers (C.O.s ; S.O.s) and inmates alike. Suddenly, something strange began to happen. A letter was torn in half. It had the inside-flap-stamp to WARN the recipient that the letter had come from inside a prison camp, from a prisoner. This, alone, proves I was not the last person to touch this letter. If the one-half side was returned to me by the U.S. Postal System, the other went on to whom I had written.

Also, persons, organizations I've written to for years, if not decades, had the RTS (return to sender) tag upon them. On several occasions, I received an RTS, with a letter or package, from the people of the RTS-simultaneously.

Several bible study or other studies I do ask "Do you enjoy our studies; why have you stopped sending your correspondence studies?" I did NOT!

I was called to the mail room. At least 6 to maybe 10 times, my legal mail has been an error. This notice comes on a Friday night. So, I wonder what my legal response (to get out) will be; only to hear "there is no legal mail; sorry." Then, once more, to the mail room. "I'm sorry, this letter is uninspectable." How? Why? It was open. It was in the mail-lady's hands. The letter was from a known girl friend that I have written for the past 8 years.

"I'm sorry this comes from Huntsville". That is the main office admin. This is a 3 1/2 hour drive away. How did they see or determine a letter- the day before- become uninspectable. It was not a package. The letter was a letter of 2 pages.

"Let me see it." The mail lady let me see front and back of each page. There was no shit, taped on poison, explosives, zero. It had: "I love you Pearl." Uninspectable from Huntsville! "Ma'am, how long do I have to send this 2-page horrific, uninspectable, whatever it is, back to whoever sent it to me?" "Sixty days."

So, that night I wrote a letter. "I will explain about this Dumb Ass Letter when you visit Saturday." I placed 2 stamps on the envelope, I sent to the mail room, this envelope with a I-60 (an official document to an official to do something) to mail back this letter. At 5:05 a.m., an inmate awoke me and handed me something. It came from the other side (B-side) of this unit. "This inmate knows you. He got this letter by mistake." I will give every reader 10 guesses what letter this was.

Then, on one night I received about 12 letters. Five were from the same person, over a 2 1/2 week's amount of time. Every one was well over 3 weeks late. A turtle with a broke leg could have gotten one of the letters to me in a day.

I have all of what I've stated documented. I have that uninspectable and both sides of the torn-in-half letter and also the letters of "why don’t you write more?" letters.

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[Organizing] [McConnell Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 60]
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Using Texas Pack to Help Others

24 OCTOBER 2016 — I have received y'all's latest newsletter. I love reading the ULK newsletters. Always very informational. Which has helped me a lot!

Here at the McConnell Unit in Belville, Texas, it is very, very, hard to get prisoners involved in such issues as 1) Campaign to resist restrictions on indigent correspondence; 2) Petition the Federal Trade Commission: TDCJ's monopoly on stationary; 3) We demand our grievances are addressed in Texas, etc, etc.

I've shared the Texas Pack with several prisoners and some just say that they are not interested. As long as they let prisoners here watch TV, go to the commissary, use the phone, play dominoes, chess, and scrabble, people don't care. It's all they care about, which in reality is very sad. Because these are issues that affect us all as a whole group. And in some cases violate our civil and constitutional rights.

The Texas Pack has given me very helpful information for not only my own benefit but to help other prisoners who ask for help, and especially those that are monolingual and don't know how to file a grievance, etc. The information that y'all supply me has not only helped me but for me to help others, which I do almost on a daily basis. Thank y'all very much!


MIM(Prisons) responds: This author is using the Texas Pack exactly as it's intended — not to be hoarded as a persynal reference, but to be shared with others so we can all benefit. Ey also brings up an all-too-frequent complaint about prisoners in Texas: that they are checked out and unwilling to stand up for their rights or the rights of others. What is the difference between this writer, and the people ey is saying only care about board games and TV? Obviously there are activists in TDCJ facilities. How are they made?

Even people who seem to only care about board games and TV, we know they're not just lazy or don't care. It is likely a defense mechanism they've developed over time. If i only care about TV, i can have some happiness even though i'm in prison. If i only care about TV, i can for the most part avoid attention from prison staff. If i only care about TV, i can access something i want; i can escape from my reality for a short time; etc.

It's unlikely, though, that these folks only care about TV, even though that's what they're projecting. Presenting the grievance petition to them, while it's a righteous campaign, often just makes people defensive. They're defensive because they need to protect this narrative that they've created about their "values," often times in order to just get through the day, and cope with their harsh reality.

Certainly with some people we can present a valid campaign, they'll recognize it as a valid campaign, and they'll come on board. But people who are defensive or prone to stagnation need a different approach.

A good place to start in trying to organize these folks is to figure out what they do care about, besides TV. They may not want to talk about it, it may be sad and upsetting to care about things you can't have (such as affection with your children while you're in prison, for example). But we can still try to help them figure it out. Help them develop their identity around their own value system, rather than the value system put upon them by bourgeois society and imprisonment.

How do they want to be seen by the world, their family, their peers? What do they want to stand for? What have they done in the past that they felt good about, that represents how they see themselves? When we know answers to these questions, we can help show how their values actually relate to the campaigns outlined in the Texas Pack and the pages of ULK.

Issue 63 of ULK is going to be focused on this topic of tactical organizing approaches, and the nitty gritty of building the United Front for Peace in Prisons. We want our subscribers to send in methodology and tools which have helped them in their organizing efforts. Even if it doesn't have a formal name, can you spell out your approach for dealing with ambivalence, or ignorance, or even a disorganized study group meeting? We want to hear about it and share it with others!

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[Hunger Strike] [Allred Unit] [Texas]
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Hunger Strike at Allred Ad-Seg to Fight Inhumane Conditions

Revolutionary Greetings Comrades!

22 January 2018 - There is a hunger strike going on right now at the Allred Ad-Seg Unit, which is located in Iowa Park, Texas. A lot of prisoners are on hunger strike in protest of the cruel and inhumane conditions which have been allowed to be visited upon the prisoners in the Ad-Seg Unit. The key issues are:

  1. Lack of opportunities to go to outside recreation.
  2. Cold food being served every meal at the Ad-Seg/High Security Unit.

There are a lot of similar problems here at Eastham Ad-Seg and some of the common denominators which allow these problems to continue are:

  1. Serious Shortages of Staff all over TDCJ
  2. Lack of funds to make repairs on anything
  3. Deliberate Indifference and Abuse by uncaring Staff at Allred!
The 85th Texas Legislature which convened in 2017 approved a massive multi-million dollar cut to the budget of the Texas Department of Criminal INJustice. I believe the amount was close to $212 million. There have been numerous unintended consequences as a result of these cutbacks — staff shortages is just one. We have also seen an inordinate amount of prisoner deaths as a result of subpar medical care given by employees of the University of Texas Medical Branch whose headquarters is in Galveston, Texas.

One issue that I'd like to bring to your attention is that prisoners who are housed in Ad-Seg (all over Ad-Seg, but especially at the Allred Unit) are more vulnerable to abuse by TDCJ prison employees because they are more isolated from the general public, the media and their FAMILIES!! Hunger Striking is the last ditch effort to have their grievances heard. This is a cry for HELP! We cannot ignore them.


MIM(Prisons) adds: The Texas grievance process is abysmal, and in most (if not all) facilities, the instructions on how to use the grievance process are not even made available to prisoners. We saw no other choice but to compile this material and distribute it ourselves. So when this correspondent says "hunger striking is the last ditch effort," we can attest to the lack of progress using official channels. Eventually it gets to a point where humyns can't take the abuse and neglect anymore, and the prison admin is only frustrating their attempts to go the "proper" route. Hunger striking is one of the only forms of protest left. We are trying to work toward a society where people don't need to starve themselves to be allowed outdoors, and asserting ourselves, such as in this hunger strike, is one step toward that new society.

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[Abuse] [Stiles Unit] [Texas]
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Texas messing with property

I am writing you in regards to treatment on this unit. I have put a restraining order on administration and his staff/employees. I've been through the proper procedures that the adminstration and the ranking officer told me to go through which is the proper procedures which is the Step 1 and Step 2. I haven't gotten a response.

Every time I talked to the Major Rockella L. Neal she keep telling me that she don't know what they want to do and that she did her part. I talked to Malcolm J Hawkins, a seargent, and he said that he doesn't have anything to do with it. Officer Ciera M. Narcisse Co III is the one who messed up my property and didn't want to give me an inventory slip. Officer Yessica L Medinamartinez Co III told me that she don't know what property that I'm talking about. I know they giving me a run around about my property and every time I address a ranking officer they tell me to get the fuck on and go back to my assigned building and this what comes down to me getting a restraining order on the administration in his employees.

They gone cover their back and look out for each other so I have to cover mines just case anything happen to me by getting this restraining order against the administration and his employees. I would like to file theft charges on the administration for messing with my property. Please can you let me know what assistance you can provide.

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[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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Demanding legal rights, fighting abuse in Texas

I am an inmate in the Texas department of criminal justice prison system. Have been locked up for going on years and have been on three other units. Why it has taken me so long to write the MIM Under Lock and Key publicaiton to expose some of the fowl stuff that is going on behind these walls is beyond me. My bad please forgive me brothers in white!

I started my time at the Smith Unit in Lamesa TX and did 5.5 years before I got my first case and that got me put in close custody for six months and to top it off it was for a fight that never happened. An inmate got to the unit and didn't want to be on the unit and being that I was the only one he knows by name he said that I assaulted him and the rank on that unit is so corrupt that they accepted the story. And well I ain't been able to bounce back yet and this happened in 2014. Six months later the same captain that ran the case on me got walked off the unit because he was caught with meth in his office and a few cell phones that he was selling to prisoners.

After I got sent to close custody I started my grievances to try to get my case over turned and nothing would come my way that would open any doors. I did my time and got sent to Lynaugh Unit in Fort Stockton, Texas and that unit is no better. I stayed there less than a year and was given 8 or 9 cases by the STG officer over the eyar. And all I could do was put in my grievances and let them work for me but I was still doing something wrong that wasn't getting no kind of justice.

I got into a riot there and not only did I get put back on gang file but I got G5ed again and got shipped to this unit which is the Michal Unit.

I'm having a hard time dealing with all the bullshit they got going here. I got your Texas pack of legal rights that us inmates have and often overlook and get screwed because of it. I sat down and read it from cover to cover and well I want to let you know that even though I can't win them all I have started getting some wins under my belt for a few of my fellow brohers in white because of the Texas pack.

Here on the Michael unit they feed us Johnny Sack meals every chance they get and thse sack lunches have nothing but one peanut butter sandwich and a meal sandwich of some kind. The breakfast Johnny is the one that is the real joke, 2 pancakes that is way below the calorie diet for any human being. When I got here I was weighing about 275. I am 6 feet carry my weight well but have been here about 7 months and well I am down to 220. Yeah for me that is my ideal weight but losing the weight too fast is not good and then they don't give us recreation but maybe once a week if we are lucky.

This unit is way out of line and well I am trying to get some other brothers in white to start pushing the pin with me but a lot of these inmates have it in their head that writing a grievance is snitching. So what can I do for myself? They charged me the $100 fee for medical when they had no reason to and well because of the Texas pack and a little bit of patience I got my money back and now they are retaliating by not answering my sick calls for renewals so I am thinking more of the lines of a 1983 being filed so they can get their hearts right.

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[Abuse] [Powledge Unit] [Texas]
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Powledge prisoners dying from K-2

I am writing to you in regards to the hunger strikes occurring as this is being typed by my good friends on the Powledge Unit in Palestine, Texas.

I have heard on the local radio station that a hunger strike is happening on the Allred Unit. The count is at 45 inmates concerning the conditions of confinement, this has been ongoing in Texas because I have personally litigated many claims about unsanitary conditions of confinement.

On another note, the K-2 epidemic is still mounting here on Powledge, but administration refuses to address the problem. The K-2 is coming in thru the industry here, by employees and controlled by the gang members here. This is supposed to be a G.R.A.D. unit. Gang renunciation unit.

But it appears that it is a gang re-organizing unit. They reorganize once they get free of smart gang intelligence officer and get this dumb one here.

This unit is a geriatric unit for old men and infirmed men, but they continue to fill it with young gang members that want to get high or drunk off hooch made with hand sanitizer. A deadly combination that has claimed four inmates. Our society has no more dumb people than we do.

Offenders are forced to endure the smoke despite their breathing problems and sends the offender to the medical with severe problems, in which medical blames it on some other activiating mechanism like the dust or debris.

One inmate died while smoking K-2 and the inmates brought him back to life before the guards could be alerted. He made parole and has not been seen since.

Your analysis has been enlightening and brought us up to date on the epidemic of K-2. Thank you for your service to this major problem in prison and outside. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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[Abuse] [Texas]
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Legal battles support needed in Texas

I'm writing to you from a prison cell deep in the bowels of a Texas prison. Recently I reread your article "Texas Comrades Need to Step up" in the Sept/Oct 2016 issue of Under Lock & Key. It was well written and a much needed call to arms! One question I have for you though is "Have you ever been to Texas, and if so, have you been incarcerated here?" I ask this because I've traveled a lot and have found that most people who've never been here have a hard time understanding the typical Texan, much less the uneducated incarcerated Texan.

To understand Texas you first have to accept that we are programmed from birth to believe that communism is not only a bad thing, but one of the very worst. Communists aren't just the enemy, they are the boogeyman sent forth from the deepest, darkest depths of hell, by satan himself, to steal babies and rape our cows! There is no place on earth where the capitalists have been more successful at spreading their agenda than in Texas. The reason that most inmates in Texas are not doing those things you address in your article is because they do not believe in our cause. At heart they, most of them, are capitalists who only believe in "me", not "we". This, comrade, is the gist of all our problems.

Most of the people who receive Under Lock & Key only support your mission because it furthers their own self-interest of getting out of prison, or making their time easier. When someone has been taught to "not understand" their own best interests, how can one be expected to grasp what's right for the whole, much less fight for it? What to do about it? I'm still working on that one and will get back to you on it!

The main reason for this letter is to find out whether or not you have any specific caselaw that would help me with my 1983 that I'm in the process of drafting. First, I'd like to say that I completely understand that you must receive hundreds of letters each month from POWs requesting help. While I do not claim to be any more important than any of those individuals, I do believe that my situation is unique in its scope. I say this because I currently have the "standing" to challenge all of the criminal justice issues that your org. has taken a stand against, as well as quite a few other issues. But most importantly, is the vast amounts of evidence that I have compiled to support my claims.

A couple areas in which I'm seeking caselaw for are:
1. The grievance system and denial of due process
2. The $100 medical copay. TDCJ charged me for a medical visit that clearly should have been exempt and has never given me the money back.
3. Good Time. Feds ruled that a state can't arbitrarily take good time so Texas created legislation that negates the good times worth.
4. Price gouging and profiteering. Texas uses free labor to manufacture products that it in turn sells on commissary for inflated prices that fare exceed the prices of similar products sold at freeworld retail stores.

There are a few more issues that I plan to file on but I'm sure you get the point. The help I seek is minor in comparison to the amount of good that my suit will generate for all those incarcerated in this country. Mostly I need help finding case law. Because they striped our law libraries of the Supreme Court Digest and I'm having a hard time finding what I need. Can you help with this? The topics listed above are my main concern. I would be grateful for any info or ideas you can provide. With that, I will end this here by saying "thank you!" for your time, consideration and the call to arms for Teas inmates. Some of us do truly think correctly. But only after having re-programed our own brains!

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[Abuse] [Rufus Duncan TF] [Texas]
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Texas denies good time, takes away family

Presently I'm working on two legal issues. One concerns the fact that Texas yards good time for work and good behavior which is as useful as monopoly money. It plays no role in one's release. My second concern is once a prisoner is released from prison he is never viewed as someone who has payed the price for his conviction. In Texas no one is willing to give one with an X on their back a job or housing that will pass inspection. Should his family be receiving any government housing he is not allowed to spend even one night there. He is also expected to repay the state for all of the food stamps that they received while he was in prison. Bottom line the state is taking the man's family away from him. Here on this unit we are only given ten hours a week in a room with outdated legal books. We are not given the use of a coping machine.

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[Abuse] [Connally Unit] [Texas]
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Texas prisoners blinded by drugs

I was talking to a guy who I have been incarcerated with for about 88 months in regards to the ULK issue #59. He seems to agree with some of the articles. The Texas epidemic of K2 overdoses seem to have hit him the hardest. In his experience he claims to have seen at a time or another about 10 men being taken off of his unit in an ambulance because of K2 use. It definitely is a large issue in the hate of Texas, both in and out of prison. The guys who smoke it instantly lose most senses within seconds of inhaling a few hits of the drug. They are unable to add, subtract (accurately), and/or function as if they are transformed into the walking dead.

As long as individuals stay in this mental state of "nothingness" or "no mans land" they will stay trapped and blinded to the truths that will help set themselves and others free from oppression and foolishness. I speak from experience because I was once in "no mans land" as mentioned above. Now that I can think and gather my sense I can gather my thoughts and push forward towards positive productions that will or can be absorbed by others around me.

All in all this guy that I have been speaking to will be writing to subscribe to ULK soon. I don't have the funds but want to work for Marc and Engels on Colonies which was mentioned in ULK59 so that I will be prepared for the future study group on the horizon. ULK59 is the only one I own so whatever relevant back issues you see as being beneficial are welcomed. I will keep the materials in circulation to try and help give men the ability to not only think, but to think outside of the "Amerikkkan box".

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