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)

Daniel Unit (Snyder)

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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Follow up to “Inspired to Act” in ULK 58

I’m now writing from segregation. They have really gone off the rails now. The L/L staff now disallow nonverbal communication as well as verbal communications. I found this out by allowing the prisoner seated next to me in the L/L to read my memorandum. He didn’t make it to page 2 before a staff member (same one who stole my legal documents out of my cell) came up and SNATCHED my memo out of his hands.

Knowing that this act was, once again, generated by the A.T.C. supervisor/law librarian I got up and asked her “under what rule do you have my legal document taken?” I was expelled from the L/L when, in response to her telling me to sit down, I asked the question a second time. According to the A.T.C. 040 and VIII we are allowed to pass legal material during a session in the L/L.

I packed my stuff up and signed out. Then I asked for my legal document—which, by the way, is exhibit “B” in my active TORT action where these two state employees are named defendants. She stared at the ceiling (15 feet from me) and ignored me. I stated “I want my damn document” and palmed the counter twice to get her attention. What I did was wake up the Medusa within her. I found out 3 hours later that in doing what I did I:

1) threatened to inflict harm on an officer (?)
2) disobeyed a direct order (?)
3) used vulgar language or gesture (??) (Damn)
4) Then the “troll” staff member fabricated that I said to her, “Woo, if we were in the free world” which too is sensationalized into “threatening to inflict harm on an officer”…HA! (Those words never passed my lips).

At the same time I was in neither within 15 feet of the “threatened” officer.

My ultimate disgrace is that no inmate interviewed gave a useful accounting or admitted that I did not say what the “troll” staff member claims I said. My brothers in incarceration left me high and dry giving zero support. Shame shame on every one of them. Institutionalized scared pussies. They just don’t realize that these folks only do to us that which we allow. We make these units TDCJ run.

What these defendants have done have elevated my state TORT action to a state 1983 civil rights violation suit. Due to their conspiratorial relative acts. I will prevail!!

In getting put into lock up these F…olks have…oops…misplaced 12 of my law books and my dictionary.

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[Texas]
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USW work gives long-time comrade confidence to file

Please send a copy of the Texas Pack. I've been in prison since 2002 and h ave never written a grievance. The information you offer makes it a no brainer for all prisoners the opportunity to correctly address situations with supporting codes.

A writ writer let me borrow his copy so I could fight a disciplinary case that was never investigated. That's a normal practice on this unit that needs to be corrected.

That resource is priceless and wanted to say thanks. This puts me on an even playing field to filing grievances with confidence. Won't let situations slide by when I'm in the right. I've enclosed 3 stamps.

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[Medical Care] [Texas]
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Medical neglect and mistreatment for serious infection

In January, I had open heart surgery. I now am in possession of a pig-part-heart. My aortic heart valve was removed and replaced with a porcine aortic valve. The surgery was to have been performed January 2, 2018, but was postponed as I had contracted methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a most virulent strain of staph.

The 24th day of December, 2017, I had scrubbed my cell floor on my hands and knees, something I had done thousands of times before. After having cleaned my cell, I noticed a small abrasion at my left knee on a scar from an old ACL surgery. Being ever mindful of infections, I wrapped the abrasion in a powered bleach poultice. The next day the abrasion had metastasized and my leg had begun to swell. I knew I had contracted staph.

December 25th, 26th and 27th, I submitted to the Estelle Unit Medical Dept. requests for medical treatment (RMT), citing MRSA for cause. These RMTs were ignored. Thursday, December 28, at 0500 hrs., when the cell doors were first opened for the day, I made a beeline for the infirmary. In route to the infirmary I attracted a gaggle of prison guards ordering me back to my cell or be subjected to physical assault. By the morning of the 28th, my leg had swelled to where my pant leg was stretched tight against my skin and the wound had drained pus and blood, not only through my trousers, but through my thermal underwear as well. The need for medical attention was readily apparent.

Standing outside the prison infirmary, I informed this gaggle of guards there were two options available to us. 1. I be allowed to access the infirmary; 2. They place me in isolation, but if it was to be option #2, I wasn't going easily.

At this juncture a nurse intervened advising me to return to my cell and I would be summoned to the infirmary when a primary healthcare provider arrived. I responded I would go for the okey doke one time and did return to my cell. Several hours later I was returned to the infirmary and immediately placed on a vancomycin IV for MRSA.

December 29th, I was transported to the prison hospital in Galveston per the aforementioned open heart surgery. The only reason I boarded the transport bus was I was in the hope I would be hospitalized and treated for MRSA. No such luck. When it was determined surgery could not be performed, as I knew it couldn't, I was treated like a leper. Swollen leg, pus and blood encrusted clothing, difficulty ambulating and all my pleas for medical attention were totally ignored. Twenty-four hours later I was returned to the Estelle Unit and immediately placed on an IV regimen of vancomycin, and extremely strong antibiotic. There was talk among the Estelle medical staff of saving my leg. Yeah, it was like that.

While on the vancomycin regimen I was informed by medical personnel it would be at least a couple of months before open heart surgery would even be considered as the porcine aortic valve I was to receive was extremely susceptible to infection and before the surgery could be performed it must be ascertained the MRSA had been absolutely eradicated. January 9, 2018, the plug was pulled on the vancomycin treatment. January 17, 2018, I had a porcine aortic heart valve implanted to my heart.

January, I was transported from the hospital in Galveston, to the hospital at the TDCJ Beto Unit in Tennessee Colony. Once arriving at Beto, it was determined my white corpuscle count was high, indicating I had an infection, further indicating my body was rejecting the porcine aortic valve, indicative the open heart surgery had been performed too soon after the MRSA treatment. I am currently on an IV regimen of Ancef, another very strong antibiotic.

Presently, it's wait and see.

Aside from the dry run to the prison hospital December 29th, once the MRSA treatment was commenced, overall, I have few complaints concerning the instant medical care I have received. But there have been occasions of incompetence and ineptitude that a University of Texas Medical Branch, John Sealy Hospital, Galveston, TX medical worker confided to me would not be tolerated on the "free-world" side of the hospital.

So here I am, an 18" surgical scar, running slightly left to right between my pectoral muscles. It looks like Picasso put me back together. I have always relied on my physical strength to see me through adversity. In the future, I'm not so confident that will be the case. PTT's statement "Our militancy tends to be inherently ableist," keeps running through my mind. On top of everything else, January 2nd, while I was being infused with vancomycin, a dumbass pig gave my prison issue jacket to a prisoner being transported away from the Estelle Unit. That, in and of itself, is no biggie—except the jacket had my corrective lensed eye glasses in the pocket. TDCJ does not want to replace the glasses, though I am designated visually disabled.

A day in the life...

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[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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