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] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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You Can Break The Man But You Can't Break The Man's Spirit

At the end of March 2016, an incident took place on the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony Texas that paralyzed an unarmed inmate from the neck down. The use of extreme force is beyond this measurement as this inmate was already locked in a cage, secluded from population and apparently no threat to anybody or himself. As I relive this harsh reality please bear with me because of the circumstances of imprisonment I don't have all the names or dates as I relate this sad but true story.

A prisoner was ordered by a correctional officer to turn around, bend over on his knees, and put his forehead on the ground. He replied "no... I only put my forehead on the ground for Allah. Please just take me to my lock up cell." (It is against our beliefs as Muslims to prostrate our heads on the ground to anyone but God.) The officer then said "if you give me what I want then I will give you what you want" and then smirked as he said it. This interaction was cut short as higher rank officials came and he was now just told to turn around so they could handcuff and escort him to a temporary holding cage and he complied and was put in what we call the "Legal cage." Mind you, all this is visually on camera and all has been recorded except audio.

Now this same officer from earlier was assigned to escort him to his lock up cell and upon this action he followed up with the same orders as to, "Turn around bend over on his knees and put his forehead on the ground." He replied again "No, I only put my forehead on the ground for Allah (SWT)!!!" The officer then said "Are you refusing to obey an order and not in compliance so I can properly escort you? Like I said give me what I want and I'll give you what you want." Upon hearing this he realized this was more of a sexual gesture and became hostile toward this officer for his remark and yelled "No, I only bow my forehead on the ground for Allah (SWT)!!! Just put me in handcuffs and take me to my lockup cell."

The officer then took his mace out (or what we in here call gas) and began emptying his whole can of mace into my friend's face until his can was completely empty. He began screaming and saying "Why did you spray me?" The officer then called in a use of force on his walkie talkie. Another and bigger can of mace was then brought and they began spraying him again directly in his face.

As this was taking place the assistant warden named "Cooper" happened to walk up and my friend began his plea "Warden Cooper this man wants me to bend over, put my forehead on the ground just so he can handcuff me. I told him that I will let him put the handcuffs on me and escort me to any cell but me putting my forehead on the ground and bending over is beyond extreme. Please Warden Cooper can you help I'm burning and covered in mace." The warden then turned to the officer and said, "keep up the good work, you're doing a good job." Then Warden Cooper abruptly walked off. The guard then began his rant "See I'm god back here as you can see the Warden just gave me the go ahead. So do as I say."

Just as this officer finished his threats a team of officers arrived suited in extract gear and a use of force camera on. The officer with the camera on told him "you are not in compliance for us to properly escort you therefore a use of force is needed so what is your statement?" He said, "I'm not refusing, just put the handcuffs on me and take me to my cell." The officer said, "is that your statement?" He did not respond. The correctional officers then opened up the door, grabbed and picked him up over their heads and slammed him straight on his head. Mind you he's a small guy at 5'9" and 150lbs. He went limp and they then hogtied him and handcuffed him as the officers dragged him into the Infirmary.

To my friend's recollection, once in the infirmary he heard the nurse say, "we're going to have to send him to UMTB Hospital" right before he passed out. Three (3) days later he awoke in a CAT scan machine and all he could hear was the noise from the CAT scan machine. Once the CAT scan was over he was slid out and then told the nurse "Ma'am can you please take these straps off me so I can get up and walk." The nurse looked at him and said, "Baby there ain't no straps on you, you are paralyzed from the neck down."

Upon hearing this he shed tears relentlessly like never before. He recalls laying in the bed and a fly would land on his forehead and he couldn't even swat it away. The agony of laying in a prison hospital (as they eventually transferred me to one) and not having proper assistance because of the low regard for us as inmates was unbearable, but something he had no choice to bear. Not being able to feed himself, bathe himself or at the very least use the bathroom himself as he had to wait hours on end for prison hospital staff to change his diapers.

One day he was laying there and out of God's good Grace a Muslim (a Muslim woman) walked in and she said "I was making Salat and Allah (SWT) told me while in Salat that there is a Muslim in this hospital that needs a Qu'ran." Hope was conceived on the day. The doctors gave my friend an option, if he did the surgery then there was a chance he might walk again but if he didn't go through with the surgery then he would never walk again. As Muslims it is upon our belief that we only bow to Allah (SWT) so he chose not to go through with the surgery. Six (6) months later when me and my brother crossed paths again he was being wheeled in a wheel chair to Jumu'ah and I began to call him. As we were in each other's presence we began to cry, and he said "I never thought I would be able to make Salat again," and then gave all his might as he struggled to stand and hugged me as we continued to shed unconditional tears. He said "I just learned how to walk again two (2) weeks ago. This morning I woke up in tears from the cramps I felt all over my body and it being so cold. I didn't know if I would make it to Jumu'ah but Allah (SWT) is Akbar." (God is the Greatest).

I was on medical chain to the prison my brother was at and only there from Thursday to Monday. So if he hadn't went to Jumu'ah then we would have never crossed paths. I also seen that the officers broke both of his wrists from when they slammed him on his forehead. My brother can't even wheel himself around because his wrist and motor skills or let alone put his gloves on himself. He now also has to wear glasses because his eyes are too sensitive to the light from the overuse of mace as they burned a layer of his eyes away, in fact on the day he seen me he slowly took his glasses off and sacrificed to endure the pain as he squinted and said, "I want to look at you." They also damaged his memory and he still couldn't control his bowel movements. Through all this he never received a disciplinary infraction because in the end they the quote-unquote correctional officers knew who was wrong. The magnitude of this wrongdoing is that the NAACP Southern Division appointed a lawyer to my brother's case. This sad case shouldn't go unheard to prevent this kind of stuff from ever happening to anybody else.

In physical reality, a man is broken but in spiritual reality his faith never wavered as my brother gave up his physical for what he believed in spiritual. In greatness that belief didn't change on the day of the incident and even in a wheelchair it still hasn't changed now as I write these very words. The moral to this sad but true story is, he is still Muslim and he never stopped praying or gave up his Salats (prayers) as he was paralyzed in a hospital bed and his faith actually became stronger through this trial and tribulation as he said to me when I seen him again "Don't give up Islam."

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[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Grievances Ignored, bribes demanded in Texas

I wrote a grievance on the warden of my unit for bribery. I alerted him of my life being threatened and he took that opportunity to coerse a bribe instead of doing his actual job. When I wrote in to inquire what's come of that grievance I was told by my unit's grievance investigator it was sent back and deemed redundant but I never received it back, nor have I received the emergency grievance I wrote due to me having a feeling they would do this. There's grievances that the units saying were lost but I know it was thrown away due to answer in response to the grievance being able to cause trouble.

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[Abuse] [Medical Care] [Stringfellow Unit] [Texas]
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Medical Neglect, Denial Access to Court, Retaliation

I am writing in regards to some situations I have been dealing with and as of yet to get a positive resolution. I’ve been a victim of medial neglect, deliberate indifference, discriminated against in violation of the ADA (American Disabilities Act), and denied access to courts. Here’s my statement of facts:

In May I filed a grievance for being inadequately housed in a cell. I have a breathing machine (for sleep apnea). The machine is plugged in over the toilet and sits on the floor next to the toilet. The toilets in the cells have a history of overflowing. I explained that I could be electrocuted in the middle of the night while I am asleep. I requested to be housed in a dorm where the machine could sit on a table next to the bunk. In the grievance I stated the American Disabilities Act, and the criteria says that I qualify for dorm housing. The same warden (Bruce Johnson) that investigated the grievance is named in the grievance, the one that denied me dorm housing, and denied my grievance.

In August, in the Eastham Infirmary, I was denied access to medical (I’m Chronic Care). I have hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea which causes me to stop breathing in my sleep. I'm supposed to get one gallon of water per week for my c-pap machine. Nurse Danny Washington had told me to come in on a Tuesday in August, because I did not receive a lay-in. I was told by C.O. Twana Mack to quote "Get the f__k out!" I was also denied to turn in my sample that the doctor requested. I was unable to use my breathing machine that night of 8-15-17. I filed a step-1 grievance and again was investigated by Warden Bruce Johnson who is named in prior grievances. I filed a step-2 and mentioned that C.O. Twana Mack has a history of cursing inmates and denying them access to medical and while inmates are filing grievances on her, no action is being taken. As of November, I have not received my step-1 & 2 response. I've tried requesting getting copies from the Unite Grievance Office (Ms. Hall and Ms. Washington) to no avail.

In October, I went on medical chain to the hospital at the Estelle Unit and when I returned, I was housed in Seg with G-4 and G-5 offenders. On these lines (cells) we are not allowed to go to Church nor law library. So basically we are in overflow and we're punished for going on medical chain to the hospital. We're housed in Seg for 30 days. In October I received some documents from the Judge at the Federal Courthouse in Dallas with a deadline to respond. I wrote Warden Bruce Johnson and explained to him I needed to attend the law library to get assistance in filing the objections or filing a motion and my request was denied. Warden Bruce Johnson denied me access to courts stating we could not attend the law library while in overflow (seg).

I wrote the law library and explained to them that I needed to attend a session to get assistance in responding to the court and was denied and told they would bring the books. I ask them how would I know what I need if I have no understanding of the law? Again my request was denied (I filed a grievance) pending. This is just one way Warden Johnson discourages us from seeking medical attention in other units or hospitals by putting us in seg(lockup) for 30 days when we return.

On 10-30-17, I received a lay-in to go to O-Line. After about a week I refused housing, I went to the Lt. office and when he pulled me up on computer, he said I was never supposed to be on O-line, those inmates are members of a Security Threat Group (Gangs). I was sent to the D-line where I spoke to Sgt. Teri Hargis who told me to fill out an Offender Statement form. In that form, I requested a Unit change which was denied by Major James Kent (Please see grievance).

It's rather disheartening to realize my family's hard earned tax dollars is contributing the salaries of such dishonest TDCJ employees.

In closing, I would like to thank for your time, concern, and interest in this ongoing, urgent, and legal matter, and I look forward to your reply.

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[Abuse] [Hughes Unit] [Texas]
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Deprived of food in Texas

I need to know my rights as a offender in Texas. I was locked in my cell without food due to a malfunctioning door. When I informed the guard as he walked by, he just shrugged his shoulders and kept walking.

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[Abuse] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]
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Punished for false cases at Wynne

Here at Wynne they put everyone in the day room for chow maybe 20 mins could be 2 hrs now said this they will start saying "sit down" but nowhere to sit walls are full seats are full now you just got a case for standing in the day room. We write grievances 1 and 2 but it always comes back "we talk to officer and they said we don't stage the day room." Funny every day they do it rank just cusses you out and you get that false case. Now here at the Wynne Unit we are no longer give soap, toothpaste, combs, or anything to clean your cells, you get one green bar of soap at showers and can not bring it back to your block.

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[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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Retaliation for legal work in Texas

I am writing to let you know that I am contributing to the struggle that prisoners face by filing lawsuits and changing policies.

Every day here in Ad Seg I face retaliation from the guards because of the legal work that I am doing. The guards do everything that they can to try to stop people from filing lawsuits. They throw our mail away when it comes in and when we send it out. There is this culture that they follow and live by and it's all about keeping prison systems under their control and they want nothing but bad things for prisoners. If they could give us bad food every day and beat us when they want to they would be happy. The living conditions here in Ad Seg are not too good but they're not the worst possible living conditions. The main thing that I am doing right now to organize against this struggle is to help people do legal work and tell them how to file lawsuits.

I am working with some anarchists to write a book that will tell people how to file a section 1983 lawsuit. This will be later on but when I finish it I will send you a copy so that you can distribute it.

The medical system as a whole is not good. We are not getting the medical care that we need. We can have an obvious and serious medical need and the doctors tell us that nothing is wrong with us. The blood work gets switched out and the paperwork gets switched out. So, we can have a serious problem but they switch out the blood- and paperwork so it shows that nothing is wrong with us. Also the x-rays get switched out all of the time. We can have broken bones and the x-rays will show that there are no broken bones. All of the doctors, nurses and the correctional officers are in this together. They cover up crimes and keep the medical system the way that it is, and when we try to fix it by writing grievances and filing lawsuits, they retaliate.

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[Abuse] [McConnell Unit] [Texas]
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Contaminated water and other dangerous conditions at McConnell

Here, on the McConnell unit there are so many issues that we are dealing with and attempting to gain a collective response to that it has taken up the majority of our time. First, on Thursday August 4, 2017, there was a water contamination notice posted, which consisted of not consuming the water, at all (i.e. showers, drinking, washing face, brushing teeth etc.) until further notice. The boil notice stated that the only way the water could be consumed was if it was boiled (i.e. a rolling boil) for at least two minutes. However, the problem with this stipulation is the fact that the ONLY way we can boil water is if we 'rig' our hot pots, which is a violation of TDCJ policy. This makes us vulnerable to our appliances being confiscated even though we have been given permission to boil the water.

This also brings about the fact that if we don't boil the water before we drink it, shower in it, and brush our teeth with it, then we are being made susceptible to CRYTOS, which is a parasitic germ that is known to cause cancer and other organ failures. This has been advertised on every news station around this area, yet we are still being made to drink it or dehydrate!! We are supposed to be provided with ice-water three times a day during summer months, yet because of the water shortage we are often just given tap water.

The administration is so accustomed to doing whatever they want that our complaints go in one ear and out the other. We have waged a grievance petition attacking our overall conditions here on this unit and we will see how many are willing to stand up for their rights or lay down and be trampled over.

This is only one of several issues with the conditions here on the McConnell unit... There is mold that has set in the walls and has begun to make prisoners have breathing conditions such as dry coughs and lack of breath.

When it rains here, all of the cells are flooded with rainwater. Our bunks are soaked and the floors are covered with water.

I would like to learn and be a part of the United Struggle from Within, because I believe that many of the prisoners here have the propensity to make a difference if only they were shown the way. Most think that there is no hope in doing anything when 'they are going to still just do what they want'. But I KNOW better and am familiar with the results of a unified effort!! I am committed to working with MIM (Prisons) to expand our influence and organizing in here as well as out in the communities we will one day return to.

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[Medical Care] [Estelle 2] [Texas] [ULK Issue 59]
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Epidemic of K2 Overdoses at Estelle, Throughout Texas

popular drugs by state

6 September 2017 — I am writing this letter to inform you of the recent adverse reactions of offenders to a new batch of a K2-styled substance. About a month ago a new batch of "2uece", "K2" or "tune" arrived on the unit. I was in the prison chapel and overheard a conversation that 9 people that day had been taken away in an ambulance. A few days later I saw 2 people fall out at work in the kitchen after smoking it. The user will experience temporary paralysis, unable to move or even speak. Users will watch their "friends" pass out, then laugh at their friends and continue smoking the same K2. Another prisoner bragged to me of his smoking prowess. He said, "I already had 3 people who smoked this shit with me get stuck. They think they can smoke like me." Later that day after having that conversation, that offender collapsed, unconscious and was rushed to medical. He may have died for all I know.

Then the next day as I was leaving the shower area, they shut down the hallway for an emergency and they were carrying 2 paralyzed prisoners to sickbay (medical). I personally have seen more than 20 people carried away in stretchers this past month. I would estimate well over a hundred people have been transported to the hospital due to this new K2. I further estimate 1/2 the entire unit are users. About 80% of the people I work with smoke. Unlike other products such as ice cream, that might get contaminated with listeria and recalled, with this so-called "2uece" there is no recall. People will continue to sell it and smoke it, and there will be more adverse reactions. Shame on the local media for not reporting this! Shame on TDCJ for not locking down the prison, instead being more concerned with the Estelle Unit textile plant profits!


MIM(Prisons) responds: In our survey of ULK readers about drugs in prison, K2 (Deuce, 2euce, Spice, or synthetic marijuana) stood out as the most popular drug. While in the chart below, other drugs aren't too far behind in number of mentions, K2 was often highlighted as the #1 choice, with one Texas prisoner stating that everything else there is now irrelevant. Suboxone was the other one that really stood out, because it was less familiar and being reported a lot. Suboxone is actually used to treat drug addiction to opioids, but has more recently proven to be addictive itself even though it does not have the same effects on your body that opioids do.

3D"popular
# respondents who listed each drug as one of the most in demand. Data from 62 respondents from 17 states.

The states of California, Nevada, Colorado and Georgia differed from the rest of the states in not really mentioning K2 or Suboxone. Instead in those states the combination of crystal meth (ice, sk8), heroin and alcohol were popular.

Many of these drugs are a serious health risk, and we address opioids in a separate article. However, K2 seems to deserve special attention right now due to the prevalence and risk. The risk is partially due to the variability in what you are getting when you purchase "K2", as the comrade alludes to above. While it is referred to as "synthetic weed" because of the receptors in the brain that it acts on, it is very different from weed with very different effects. In the prisons where it was reported as easiest to get, our respondents reported death from drugs at their prison 50% of the time. In contrast, the prisons where K2 was not listed among drugs easiest to get death was only reported 19% of the time. This difference was statistically significant. While this correlation does not establish a definitive link with K2 as the cause of excess deaths, anecdotal responses like the reports above and below seem to indicate that is the case. In the last two years, news stories about group overdoses from bad batches of spice have become frequent. Our correspondents talk about people being "stuck" when they are on K2. This drug can be completely disabling and can lead directly to death.

The K2 epidemic is not limited to Estelle Unit, but is across the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) system, where our respondents consistently listed it as the most common drug. As the map above shows, the problem extends to many other states.

A comrade in Larry Gist Unit in Texas reported on 14 September 2017:

"I want to file a lawsuit against the Sr. Warden and American Correctional Association (ACA) who pass the Unit Larry Gist inspection because the speaker communication do not work and about 7 to 10 prisoners died smoking K2 from heart attack and other sickness. Speaker communication is very important and maybe if the speaker communication had been working 1, 2 or 3 of the prisoners that died could have been saved."

A comrade at Telford Unit in Texas reported on 23 August 2017:

"My brothers in here have fallen victim to K2, which is highly addictive. They don't even care about the struggle. The only thing on their minds is getting high and that sas. I mean this K2 shit is like crack but worse. You have guys selling all their commissary, radios, fans, etc. just to get high. And all these pigs do is sit back and watch; this shit is crazy. But for the few of us who are K2-free I'm trying to get together a group to help me with the struggle."

We had a number of surveys filled out in Texas, all of which put the majority, if not all of the blame for the drugs entering the TDCJ on staff. Prisoners are a vulnerable population due to the degree of control that the state has over their lives. The injustice system leads to a disproportionate number of people in prison with substance abuse histories. It is completely irresponsible and tragic that people are then put in conditions where there is an epidemic of dangerous, unregulated drugs when they enter prison.

Under a socialist society, where we have a system of dictatorship of the proletariat, with those in power acting in the interests of the formerly oppressed peoples, individuals responsible for mass deaths through negligence or intentional actions will be brought to justice. Prison administrators who help bring in drugs known to kill people need to face the judgment of the people. These deaths are easily prevented.

In the meantime, we commend the comrades at Telford Unit who are starting to organize support for people to stay out of this epidemic that is affecting so many Texas prisoners. It is only by building independent institutions of the oppressed, which serve the people, that we can overcome this plague.

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[Abuse] [Texas] [ULK Issue 60]
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Successes Against Retaliation in Texas

Just a short letter to let you know that I received your Texas Pack, which I found to have lots of needed information in it. The issue of the July/August Under Lock & Key was DENIED because of something on page 11 of the publication. I appealed the denial and lost, but I mailed it home for future reading.

I am a victim of harassment and retaliation, which stems from my constant filing of complaints and grievances, condemning the unprofessional actions of unit officials and officers. I've had to endure some pretty rough times because of my never-ending flow of complaints. Unit officials have conspired to file false disciplinary infractions against me in hopes of silencing me or discrediting me. During my last stint of incarceration (1997-2003) unit officials told me that if I didn't stop filing complaints, that they were going to make my time hard. They filed an infraction of "assault on an officer," which had me thrown in solitary and stripped of my trustee status and good time. When I continued to file grievances against the unjust actions they had taken against me, I was once again charged with "assault on an officer" (my foot accidentally bumped an officer's foot). They were trying to prove that I couldn't beat them. Well, I eventually got one officer fired for harassment and retaliation, and a Lieutenant was allowed to resign and return in six months. When he returned, he was sent to another unit, (where I had also been sent to) and had to work as a regular CO for six months before he could apply for his rank back.

Upon seeing me, he called me a "bitch," which I immediately wrote up. This time, there happened to be a Major that did not put up with officer harassment and retaliation, and he immediately got both of us in his office and made the officer apologize to me and promise to leave me alone. I was falsely charged with several disciplinary infractions after I filed a grievance against an officer for calling me a "black son of a bitch," back in January of this year. When I refused to drop my complaint, I received a major disciplinary for being "out of place" (not attending a law library session, which is voluntary).

A couple of months later, I received another major case for "failure to obey an order" (another trumped up charge) and after being found guilty of it, I was stripped of my general population status and re-assigned to G-4 (medium custody). The whole purpose of charging me with the major infractions were to 1) get me transferred from the unit and 2) discredit me so that my complaint against the officer for use of slurs/hostile epithets could be viewed as a lie against that officer. I was shipped off of the unit and all attempts to have something done to the officer who called me a black son of a bitch were ditched.

After arriving here on this unit to be locked away for 6 months on medium custody, one of the ladies who was part of my Unit Classification Committee (UCC), disagreed that I should be classified as medium custody, because the charges were weak. Now I am hoping that the two major infractions that I received earlier this year have no bearing on whether I make parole. There are NOT a lot of guys who are willing to stand up for their rights like me. I recently wrote a letter to Senator John Whitmire, informing him of the issues we are plagued with over here at this century-old unit. Just last week, we had not one, not two, but several pipes burst, leaving us without clean water to drink. Half of the building had NO WATER to flush their toilets, and there were restrictions on showering.

I'm continuing in my fight to bring attention to all of the ruthless officers that continue to oppress us behind these walls. Please let me know what I can do to help your cause. I am indigent, but I'm able to write and get things out.

I'm sure you all know that as of September 2017, solitary confinement in TDCJ was abolished. The inmates at the Pack Unit in Navasoto, Texas found help with the heat during the summer by way of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals when they affirmed class certification. Judge Keith Ellison ordered TDCJ to put air conditioning in the Pack Unit, which was found to be a "hot box" to the inmates housed there. Instead of putting air conditioning in housing areas, TDCJ shipped the inmates to cooler quarters in other facilities. The reaffirmed class certification paves the way for inmates' lawyers to try and win a permanent injunction.

Also, inmates throughout TDCJ have won the right to wear 4-inch beards, and Muslim offenders are supposed to be able to wear their kufis all over the unit, yet state officials are trying to stonewall us (yes, I am Muslim) from doing it. Now, I've heard that on some of the more hardened units, officials would rather allow the wearing of kufis rather than risk any type of rebellion. The unit I'm on is NOT one of them, yet I'm working to get some type of wording on WHY we aren't being allowed to wear them here. The case citing is Ali vs Stephens, 822 F.3d 776 (5th Cir. 2016) U.S. App LEXIS 7964. Until next time, stay strong.


MIM(Prisons) responds: There are a number of seasoned comrades in Texas fighting and winning, in spite of harassment and retaliation from TDCJ staff and admin. We encourage others to look to this comrade's work for an example of eir bravery, dedication, and successes!

The Texas Pack that MIM(Prisons) distributes is a good jumping off point for people who need basic information on filing grievances and fighting against some of the most common things prison staff do to take advantage of us. Most of the information in the Texas Pack ought to be in the law library by any reasonable standard, and even TDCJ's own policies and procedures. Since the TDCJ isn't following its own rules, and not informing prisoners of what those rules are and the process to have them enforced, we have compiled this information. Send a $2.50 donation to our SF address, or a contribution to ULK, to get the Texas Pack.

Another aspect of this author's experience that we want to draw attention to is how eir work impacts the quality of life of other prisoners on eir unit. Getting a guard kicked off the unit, suspended, or being told to tone down eir harassment, serves not only this author but also the prisoners around em. Same goes for the impact of lawsuits (for better or worse). So if you're reading this and a guard isn't harassing you, know that it's probably because of all the people who have fought on your behalf ahead of you. Maybe now it's time to start contributing to help others!

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[Medical Care] [Texas]
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Texas stealing prisoner's money for free medical services

On Sept 23, 2017, I was transported to a local hospital by EMS, concerning chest pains. I spent several hours in ER before being returned to my unit, the Boyd Unit.

On Sept 26, 2017, I saw our PA (provider) concerning my trip to ER. Again on Sept 27, 2017 I saw another provider concerning same trip to ER.

On Oct 2, 2017, I became aware that my inmate trust account was assessed $100 co-pay and $22.46 removed. Half of my current balance.

This is, as you know, in violation of Gov. Code 501.063 and TDCJ's administrative directive AD-06.08, stating that an inmate will not be charged for emergencies or follow-ups. The two visits to PA were indeed follow-ups to the emergency.

I have filed Step 1 grievance, and regardless of outcome will file Step 2. Someone needs to take notice of how this is happening. I have also wrote to the US Dept of Justice.

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